Showing Tag: " blogjune" (Show all posts)

UTS Library Artist-in-Residence Program (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 30, 2016, In : Professional 

Last night I attended the VALA AGM and 2016 Williamson Lecture at the University of Melbourne's Baillieu Library.

Mal Booth is the University Librarian at UTS (University of Technology Sydney), and the 2016 Williamson Award recipient. He spoke about the UTS Library Artist-in-Residence Program that he began in 2012. I loved hearing about this program - such a great initiative that has reaped wonderful rewards in terms of cultural engagement with the library and its collections.

Mal has a great s...
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#ICAD2016 week 3 round up (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 30, 2016, In : Creativity 

I'm running behind on the index card challenge (and #blogjune too), as I really needed a few days off after the semester finished. I'm not really worried about trying to catch up or keep up, though, as long as I just keep going.

To that end, I've started carrying some basic art supplies around with me, and several of the cards in this week's batch have been started or finished when I've find tiny pockets of spare time. Some of the cards were started while I was waiting for a lift, and then fin...
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A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Travel 

There's a lovely little free exhibition on at the City Gallery in Melbourne Town Hall at the moment, called "A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne". It runs until 12 August 2016 and features stories and images of ideas for development in and around the Melbourne CBD over the years.

There are proposals for elevated pedestrian walkways, canals, bizarre building designs, underground trams, pyramids and autogiro buses. There is also information about some design proposals that actually did ...
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More about charcoal (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 27, 2016, In : Creativity 

My blog post from yesterday was all about the first time I 'got' charcoal. I mentioned in it that the following week I really got stuck into making the most of the medium. This post is a quick one with some pictures from that class.

The podium in the drawing room was covered in a random assortment of objects, and depending on our position in the room and proximity to the podium, we were to draw a section of whatever we could see. I took a quick photo of the view from my easel. It included a to...
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Seven things I’m loving right now (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 27, 2016,

Thanks to Kate for the idea behind this post :)

Seven things I’m loving right now:

1) School holidays. Two weeks of no classes, and I'm so glad to have some time off without the constant pressure of assignments. I'm not going away, as travel usually costs more when so many people are taking leave at the same time, but that's okay as I have heaps of things I want to catch up on during the break.

2) My personal cheer squad. I simply can't say enough how much I have appreciated people's support t...
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Learning to love charcoal (26 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 26, 2016, In : Creativity 

In our first drawing class at art school, we were given sticks of charcoal to draw with. I had never used it before, and I hated it. Charcoal sticks are fragile, and dirty, and not pointy. You (and everything else) get covered in black dust when using it. It smudges easily. It's hard to draw clean, straight lines, and the width of the line isn't consistent as the charcoal constantly changes shape while it's being used. You need to seal drawings with fixative afterwards to stop it from smudgin...
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Reflections on the mid year review (23 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 23, 2016, In : Creativity 

Thanks to all who offered kind wishes for my mid year review at art school yesterday :)

I was really happy with how it went. My display table looked good (see previous post), and although I didn't love every single piece that I produced this semester, overall I was pleased with my progress and how much I'd achieved. In fact I am quite chuffed.

In the formal review, I got some really good feedback about my skills development across the semester. The teachers said that pattern, colour and a dev...
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First semester nearly done (21 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, In : Creativity 

Yesterday I submitted my last assignment for the semester. It's been hard yakka all semester long, usually with five or six assignments on the go at any one time. It's such a relief to have a short break to look forward to! But the holidays aren't here yet ...

Today was the first day of our mid year review. In the morning I set up a table and display space with a selection of the first semester's work - all of the assignments, plus my six best pieces from life drawing and five best pieces from...
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#ICAD2016 week 2 round up (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 18, 2016, In : Creativity 

Another seven index cards done, so another weekly round up. A collage of the second week's efforts is below :)

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2016 Week 2 round up

I thought I would find it much harder to do the index cards while I'm also spending so much time and energy on my arts course. But so far I'm actually finding it a great outlet for doing my own thing creatively.

In my course I am constantly pushed outside of my comfort zone, while here in the index card challenge I am free to play around with the patterns and colours that I love. I'm n...
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Cherry Tree in Autumn (13 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 13, 2016, In : Creativity 

I'm totally in love with the colours on my cherry tree right now. Every time I catch a glimpse of it through my laundry window, or step outside my back door, it makes me feel happy. A reminder of the beauty in the world.

Love the golden colours on my cherry tree right now!

Last week I desperately needed some inspiration for an assignment on modernism that I was really struggling with. I had ideas, but just couldn't pull them together and move forward. One of my friends suggested taking inspiration from a landscape, and suddenly everything came t...
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The first assignment (12 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 12, 2016, In : Creativity 

Well, I guess I really have been nervous about sharing my artwork, as it's nearly halfway through June and I still haven't posted anything from my course yet!

It's funny - I don't feel any hesitation about sharing the results of my daily creative challenges. I suspect it's because they're quick and small, and of necessity there are limitations on how much time and effort I can spend on them.

My art school assignments are a different matter. I've spent more time on them, and put more thought and...
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The cumquats are coming (10 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 10, 2016,

It may be a little premature to be blogging about my much anticipated cumquat harvest while the fruit are still green (counting my chickens before they're hatched?), but ooh I hope this lot ripens successfully :)

Last year, after our cat Roxy died, my friends at work bought me a cumquat tree. I'm not sure who contributed, but I know it was Rose that remembered my reminiscences about growing up with a cumquat tree, and I was so touched at receiving such a personal gift at that time.

I took this ...
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#ICAD2016 week 1 round up (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, In : Creativity 

I just realised I've already done my first seven cards for this year's Index-Card-A-Day challenge (#ICAD2016), so it's time for a weekly round up.

I've been posting them each day to Flickr, and also to Instagram and Tumblr. A collage of the first week's efforts is below.

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2016 Week 1 round up

Again, never easy to make time to do these, but it's such a worthwhile activity for switching gears, engaging creativity and developing skills. It's a bit like a shared daily sketchbook habit, really.

I had a few leftover wa...

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Smells and memories (7 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 7, 2016,

Oops, missed a couple of days already. Oh well, I don't think anyone's counting my blog posts except for me. I'll manage what I can :)

Anyway, this morning I tried a new shampoo sample. It had a coconut fragrance that instantly took me back to living in Darwin. Not that we were surrounded by coconuts up there (although we did have a coconut tree above our pool that was rather alarming - I was so worried about getting hit on the head by a falling coconut that we put up a shade cloth for protec...

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The 100 Day Project (4 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 4, 2016, In : Creativity 

I mentioned in my first #blogjune post for this year, that I'm taking part in a couple of creative challenges this month. One is the Index-Card-A-Day challenge that I've done for the last two years - I'll be posting updates on that here on the blog every week or so. The other challenge is The 100 Day Project (#the100dayproject).

I first heard about #the100dayproject when it was mentioned by a few artists and illustrators that I follow on Instagram who were planning to take part. Intrigued, I i...

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The Light in Winter (3 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 3, 2016, In : Travel 

Last night I caught up with a good friend for dinner in the city. As we walked towards Flinders St Station at the end of the night, our eyes were caught by the illuminated buildings of Federation Square, which were covered in colourful patterns. I wandered over for a closer look, and learnt that the light installation was part of Fed Square's tenth anniversary The Light in Winter.

The Light in Winter, Federation Square

The light projections on the building facades are called Federation Squared, created by Reko Rennie and The Electr...
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Design Futures Forum (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 2, 2016, In : Professional 

A couple of days ago I attended the annual Design Futures Forum (agIdeas), hosted by Ideas On Design at the Melbourne Convention Centre. It was a great event, and the calibre of the speakers was amazing.

Nicolas Hogios - Toyota Motor Corp (automotive designer)
Nick spoke about his career in automotive design, including some cutting edge futures work. He finished with a 5 minute live demonstration of creating a new car design, which was really interesting to watch.

Raphael Pimentel - Luma Picture...

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Challenge addict (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, In : Creativity 

It's the first day of June, and as I mentioned in my last post, that means it's #blogjune time again :)

I always look forward to taking part, although my posts will have to be short and sweet this time around. You see, it appears that I'm a sucker for challenges, so this will be one of *three* daily challenges that I'll be doing throughout June this year. 

1) #blogjune - blogging every day of June, along with a lovely bunch of library folk
2) #ICAD2016 - creating art on an index card every day o...

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The unusual experience of having a photo featured on Flickr Explore (29 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 29, 2015, In : Technology 

So an odd thing happened yesterday. One of my index cards was featured in Flickr Explore, and it was a very interesting experience ...

I first realised something unusual was going on when I started getting phone notifications for 'likes' (favourites on Flickr) at a much faster rate than usual, and from people that I didn't know. There were just 3 or 4 to start with, and my first thought was perhaps I was getting spammed. I actually had a quick look at Explore on my phone, but couldn't see my p...
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Special collections at the William Angliss Institute (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 28, 2015, In : Professional 

One of my first library jobs after completing my Grad Dip was at the William Angliss Institute. For those who don't know it, the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne is a training institution that specialises in food and hospitality courses. They specialise in vocational education programs, but also conduct a range of short courses for enthusiastic amateurs :)

There were two main perks to working at the William Angliss Institute Learning Resource Centre (Library). One was ready access to the...
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Prevaricated Frequencies (26 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 26, 2015,

I popped into the city to run some errands yesterday, and as I'd heard of a new art installation called Prevaricated Frequencies by Victoria University's Skunk Control in the Flinders St station / DeGraves St subway art space, I decided to make a detour and check it out.

Although the sign had a start date of 24 June and a few pieces were already set up, they were still in the process of constructing some of the displays. Skunk Control's Facebook page says the installation begins on 30 June, s...
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#ICAD2015 week 3 round up (26 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 26, 2015, In : Creativity 

I mentioned my battle with watercolours last week, and in this week's #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day) round up you can see some of the results:

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 3 round up

I've been trying to master the swirly abstract watercolour background effect. Nope. That isn't going to happen apparently. But I keep trying, and sometimes the effect is quite pleasing. Unfortunately the two cards with eye motifs (one in black fineliner, the other using masking fluid) required me to do the watercolour background last. No second chances! S...
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200th post :) (25 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 25, 2015,

If my enumeration is correct - and I think it is - this is my 200th blog post!

So I made an index card to celebrate the occasion :)

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 no. 19

Short and sweet tonight.

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More on library blogging, and why I want to write about cool stuff (23 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, In : Professional 

Yesterday I wrote about changing direction and being myself. Basically, I realised that it was time to stop trying so hard to write big issue opinion posts that I don't enjoy writing (and that other people are better at than me). Instead, I'm going to focus on writing blog posts that I enjoy, both as a writer and a reader. I want to write about cool stuff.

[Note: my definition of cool stuff is quite possibly not your definition of cool stuff :) ]

Blogs that I love / have loved

As I mentioned in ...
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Changing direction and being myself (22 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 22, 2015, In : Professional 

So I did that thing again ...

That thing where I start writing a blog post, or maybe drag out a half-finished draft. I start writing. I fact check. I realise I don't know as much about a topic as I thought. I research. I read. Hours pass. I have now completely lost confidence in my ability to write knowledgeably about said topic. I go to bed. No blog post.

I promised myself I would stop doing this. I've steeled myself against perfectionism time and time again. I told myself I would be brave and...
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#ICAD2015 week 2 round up (20 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 20, 2015, In : Creativity 

Well, it took me a little longer than two weeks to create two weeks' worth of index cards for #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day), but I'm catching up :)

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 2 round up

I nearly didn't post the first index card I made - the one that says "Be brave" on it. I wasn't at all happy with how it turned out (apparently I can't write in a straight line, even on lined paper!). And then I tried to 'fix' it by adding some arrows, but they came out all wonky. Anyway, after nearly binning it, I gave myself a stern talking to abo...
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A day at NGV International (19 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 19, 2015, In : Travel 

I had a fantastic Friday last week, catching up with my friend Julie at NGV International.

Great Hall, NGV International

After a short pause to stick my finger in the water wall (very important), and gawk at the Great Hall's beautiful stained glass ceiling, we headed to the NGV cafe for a cuppa and a chat. We went to the fancy one upstairs, which is a bit quieter than the ground level cafe, so we had a lovely long chat :) The drinks (tea and hot chocolate) were lovely, and generous.

Stained glass ceiling of the Great Hall, NGV International

We visited the NGV to see the Exquisite T...
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Tea. Earl Grey. (15 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 15, 2015, In : Food & Recipes 

The next line is obviously - Hot. Right?

I wonder how many fellow Gen Xers thought of Captain Picard when they tried their first Earl Grey? I know I did. And I've had it on good authority that I'm not the only one.

Go on, 'fess up :) Did Patrick Stewart help to get you started on Earl Grey?

Anyway, for me it's - Tea. Earl Grey. Milky with half a sugar thanks.

Tea. Earl Grey. Milky with half a sugar thanks.

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Hello possum (11 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 11, 2015,

Ringtail possums. So cute. We often see them on our phone and power lines at night.

Hello possum

Luckily we don't have any possums inside the house or roof any more. We used to have a couple of resident brushtail possums living in the wall cavities (they even chewed holes right through the weatherboard for ventilation). Paul the Possum Catcher took care of that years ago with his humane one-way exit system, and we haven't had a problem since. They still visit and eat the fruit in our garden. But we don't m...
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Some thoughts about library blogging (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 8, 2015, In : Professional 

I've been blogging (sporadically) for just over 6 years now. Blogging is different to the other ways that I share information online, in part because I can bring lots of things together here (words, images, videos, etc.). But it also feels more permanent - or at least longer lasting - than transient tweets and Instagram photos. It's my 'home' on the internet.

In terms of content, this blog is my personal blog. It has always been, and will remain, a random assortment of things that I'm doing or...
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Why I love #blogjune (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 8, 2015, In : Professional 

There have been quite a few blog posts and tweets this year about why people are still participating in #blogjune (or why they aren't). And indeed on why people are blogging at all (or, again, why they aren't). It's really interesting to hear people's thoughts on this, as we all have slightly different perspectives and motives.

Kate Davis' post on Libraries Interact is a good place to start if you're interested in this discussion, and it includes a couple of links out to other posts too.

For m...
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#ICAD2015 week 1 round up (7 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 7, 2015, In : Creativity 

I've just finished my first seven cards for #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day). I've been posting them to Flickr and also to Instagram this year. A collage of my first week's efforts is below.

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 1 round up

It's always difficult for me to think up ideas for this. Even when I have them swirling around in my head, it's not easy to work out the execution. And then to whip something up in an evening after work / commute / dinner / etc. - especially when I'm trying to write a blog post every night too! So sometimes I ...
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10 years in libraries (5 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 5, 2015, In : Professional 

This year I passed my 10 year anniversary of working in libraries. I've been thinking about the journey I've taken over that time - the things I've done, the skills I've learned, the places I've worked, the people I've met, and the friends I've made. So please forgive the listy-listy-list nature of this blog post, as I take a trip down memory lane ...

I have worked in university, parliamentary, TAFE (vocational education), special, and corporate libraries. I also did a work placement in public...
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Molecule of Light (4 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 4, 2015, In : Travel 

Last week I posted a couple of photos of a strange new art installation in Federation Square (known locally as Fed Square). It reminded a few people of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, for obvious reasons! The information signs were mysterious, simply saying that more details would be revealed soon ...

I don't know what this is.

Well now it has a name! Officially launched on 1 June, it's called "Molecule of Light" by artist Chris Levine. This laser installation radiates a constantly moving series of colours and patterns,...
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Silver Princess (4 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 4, 2015,

I recently showed this photo of a neighbour's Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia) to my great friend Anna-Maria.

Silver Princess gumnuts

Not only was she able to identify it for me, but what a delightful surprise I got when she also bought me one as a gift! Fingers crossed it thrives in my garden and grows beautiful gumnuts like these :)

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Cabbage (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, In : Food & Recipes 

Yesterday I bought a cabbage. I was pretty excited about it.

This is ma cabbage #cabbagelyf

I think cabbages are underrated - they make some pretty yummy recipes. Okonomiyaki is one of them. Coleslaw is not. But curried cabbages and sausages is another one :)

Curried cabbage and sausages :) #yum

Curried cabbage and sausages
Serves 2-3

  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 Tb mild curry paste
  • 1/4 cabbage, roughly chopped
  • couple of sploshes of boiling water
  • 4 vegetarian curried sausages, sliced into 2cm pieces

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and cook the o...

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June is here again (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 1, 2015, In : Creativity 

And with June, comes the annual #blogjune daily blogging challenge! I'm taking part again this year, and like last year I'll also be doing the #ICAD (Index-Card-A-Day) challenge over June and July.

Sadly last year my Mum's health suddenly worsened, and she passed away at the end of June. Of course this brought an abrupt end to my participation in both challenges as I concentrated on spending time with my family, grieving, and finally administering Mum's estate.

I did create a few more index car...
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ANZ 23 Mobile Things: Voice interaction and recording (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, In : Technology 

This is a re-post of my original blog post "Thing 21: Voice interaction and recording" that I created for the ANZ 23 Mobile Things course last year.


I think we can all agree that one of the great things about modern mobile devices is the variety of ways that we can interact with them. Unlike older phones and desktop computers, we are no longer restricted to a keyboard (or mouse) interface - we can ...
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ANZ 23 Mobile Things: File sharing – Dropbox (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, In : Technology 

This is a re-post of my original blog post "Thing 19: File sharing - Dropbox" that I created for the ANZ 23 Mobile Things course last year.


This week's thing is file sharing using mobile devices. The portability of mobile devices makes them an ideal tool for accessing and sharing files on the move. We will look at sharing / syncing files across multiple devices (eg. your smartphone, tablet and PC)...
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A magnetic subject (17 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 17, 2014,

I thought I would be too tired again to blog tonight, but I've just seen Steph's post called "Magneto-grrl" and inspiration struck! Thanks Steph :)

I'm also a collector of fridge magnets, accumulated during my travels over the years. Each time I've moved house, arranging them neatly on my fridge has always been one of the small pleasures that I've found in setting up our home.

I prefer to purchase magnets myself, rather than receive them as gifts, as I like to be part of the story that brought ...
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#ICAD week 2 round up (15 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 15, 2014, In : Creativity 

Another week of #ICAD (Index-Card-A-Day) has passed, so it's time for another round up of my week's creative efforts.

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2014 Week 2 round up

The second week was a little harder than the first week, as I hit a few creative stumbling blocks. I'm trying to do something different each day, and that will keep on getting harder as the challenge progresses. The central card in the above collage was the result of feeling frustrated at my own lack of technique (and sometimes imagination too).

But I'm persevering, because some...
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KPop obsession (14 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 14, 2014,

Some of my readers may be aware that I've become just a little bit obsessed with KPop over the last year or so. And JPop. And CPop.

You see, one Sunday morning early last year I discovered SBS PopAsia. It was around the time that Psy's Gangnam Style was still going crazy, but that wasn't what caught my attention. It was a five member boy band doing a synchronised dance routine in their music video. I don't even remember who it was now, but I had an instant flashback to the 90s! I watched a few...
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Wet weather day (14 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 14, 2014,

It was a lovely wet afternoon in Melbourne today :) Lovely because the weather held up this morning so that we could run errands, move boxes into storage and treat ourselves to morning tea at a fancy cafe, and lovely because the rain started after we'd got home so that we could do indoor activities with the heater on and enjoy the sound of the rain outside. My kind of wet day!

Wet day

I'm not doing too well at keeping up with #blogjune this year, although I have already blogged more this month than I ...
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Retro library posters (10 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, In : Professional 

I love a bit of retro style, and these vintage library posters are fantastic! I think they could still be used today :)

RETRO POSTER - The Book Hunter

RETRO POSTER - Books are Arranged ...

RETRO POSTER - When You Want Facts

And for the fiction buffs ...

RETRO POSTER - There's Romance in Books

There's a whole Flickr album of these posters, collected by a library technician who goes by the username Enokson.

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Homemade paneer (9 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 9, 2014, In : Food & Recipes 

Many years ago, when I was living in Canberra, I did a couple of courses in Indian vegetarian cooking with some friends. It was a fantastic experience, and I still use many of the ideas and recipes today.

As well as learning how to prepare many delicious Indian recipes, with a focus on healthy home-cooked meals rather than what you would find in a restaurant, I also learnt how easy it is to make your own flatbreads, grind your own spices, make chai tea from scratch, and the subject of this blo...
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#ICAD week 1 round up (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 8, 2014, In : Creativity 

The first week of #blogjune and #ICAD (Index-Card-A-Day) has drawn to a close, and as promised in my first post I have put together a round up of my week's #ICAD efforts.

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2014 Week 1 round up

I have found the Index-Card-A-Day challenge to be a lot of fun, but also surprisingly challenging. It's been a long time since I've put pen or brush to paper on a regular basis - and it showed! I felt quite clumsy on several occasions, especially when trying new techniques or media.

But that's the point really. It's about exer...
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Letting go (7 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 7, 2014,
Tim and I both took a big step today. We delivered our analog televisions to the local e-waste recovery centre and said goodbye.

Why was this a big deal? Because we have trouble letting go. I've blogged before about my struggle to overcome a collecting habit that's been ingrained since my childhood. I also have difficulty dealing effectively with things that might come in handy one day, and anything that has a sentimental attachment.

My little black and white TV was a gift from my parents on my...
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Excellent company (3 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, In : Food & Recipes 

Another late night blog post, having just returned home at 10.30pm after a lovely night out with my friend and former colleague Julie :)

We met up after work for a drink at Chloe's Bar, Young & Jackson. We then enjoyed dinner at Il Pom Italian, at Fed Square. I had gnocchi tre formaggi and a delish melon spruzzi mocktail (see pic below), followed by soft centred chocolate pudding. Very decadent!

Melon spruzzi

We talked of many things, joys and challenges. Always a pleasure to spend time with such a good frie...
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Origami Mother's Day card (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 2, 2014, In : Creativity 

It's only the second day of #blogjune, and here I am at 10pm trying to scrabble a post together! I have lots of drafts in progress, but all need more work than I have time for tonight.

So a simple post about something that I created recently. I made my Mum her Mother's Day card this year, using origami paper lined with writing paper, and a strip of floral tape. I bound it with a ribbon, and of course added a personal message inside. I was quite pleased with this effort, understated but pretty....
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Two daily challenges for the price of one (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 1, 2014, In : Creativity 

It's June already! Which means it's time for the #blogjune (blog every day of June) challenge to commence once more :)

I've been looking forward to participating this year, since I missed it last year due to travelling through parts of Australia with very little internet access. This year is the fifth year of #blogjune, so it will be my fourth attempt.

If you're interested in getting involved in #blogjune, Con Wiebrands has provided some information and a sign-up page, as well as a list of the ...
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Tour time! (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 30, 2012,

Yes, it's that time of year again. Late nights watching bicycle wheels turn, close-ups of exhausted faces, tension-filled race finishes and lots of beautiful French scenery too. It's the Tour de France :)

My own race preparations have included:
  • Reviewing the TdF stages and dates to see which nights are going to be late ones
  • Clearing space on the hard drive recorder for the crucial mountain stages and time trials
  • Updating my favourite TdF mobile apps: SBS Tour Tracker; Sportal Tour; and the Tour H...

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A friendly hermit crab (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 30, 2012, In : Travel 

On a recent visit to East Point Reserve, I picked up a pretty shell and got quite a shock when this little fellow crawled out to say hello!

A hermit crab says hello :)

Tim is much braver than I am around creepy crawlies, so the photo is of his hand of course. It was quite fascinating to watch the hermit crab pop in and out of its shell, and explore Tim's hand freely. I filmed a short video of it, which I've uploaded so that you can watch it too :)

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The problem with pom poms (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : Creativity 

A Christmassy/crafty post in June - why not? ;)

Each year for the last few years I've made little ornaments for my sisters' Christmas trees. Photos of some of my previous efforts are on Flickr HERE. For Christmas last year I didn't have much time to put something together, so I decided to make something I'd been wanting to try my hand at for a while - pom poms! It sounded so simple :)

I soon learned that there are a few important things to take into consideration when making yarn pom poms. The ...
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Of pygmies, palms and pirates (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 27, 2012,

Time for some poetry (another daily blogging challenge tradition!) -

Of pygmies, palms and pirates by Mervyn Peake

Of pygmies, palms and pirates,
Of islands and lagoons,
Of blood-bespotted frigates,
Of crags and octoroons,
Of whales and broken bottles,
Of quicksands cold and grey,
Of ullages and dottles,
I have no more to say.

Of barley, corn and furrows,
Of farms and turf that heaves
Above such ghostly burrows
As twitch on summer eves
Of fallow-land and pasture,
Of skies both pink and grey,
I made my statem...
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Found treasures (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 27, 2012,

While I was out walking this morning, I came across some startling red seeds amongst the leaf litter. I just had to collect a few, they were so pretty - hard, shiny and very colourful!

I asked a friend on Twitter - @lokilovesyou - who makes beautiful seed jewellery if she knew what they were called. She told me that the seeds are from Adenanthera pavonina, also known as the Red Bead Tree (fitting!), Saga Tree or Red Sandalwood.

Found treasures

I'm not sure yet if I'll try making jewellery with them in future. ...
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Vintage craft book: "Creative Needlework" (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, In : Creativity 

I know, I know! You've been waiting *all year* for another instalment of vintage craft! Well, I try not to disappoint ;)

"Creative Needlework" (1974) by Jo Springer is another gem from my Mum's collection. It has some fantastic retro styling that is quite on-trend at the moment.

Creative Needlework 1

Creative Needlework 2

Creative Needlework 3

Creative Needlework 4

But then it starts getting a little iffy ...

Creative Needlework 5

Creative Needlework 6

Until eventually - dear God, won't someone please think of the children!?!?

Creative Needlework 7

Creative Needlework 8 (collage)

Luckily, there are a couple of dapper chaps playing with model trains to rescue us all at the end ;)...
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Polenta with mushrooms and blue cheese sauce (26 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, In : Food & Recipes 

It's been a while since I posted a recipe on this blog. This polenta dish is one of my favourite treats, inspired by a menu item served at Il Tempo in Melbourne's DeGraves Street.

This isn't an exact recipe, as it can vary depending on how much polenta and mushrooms I feel like on the night. But the sauce makes enough for 3 serves (or 2 very generous ones!). It's also a bit of a cheat's recipe, because I like to save time by using pre-cooked firm polenta rather than making it from scratch ;)

Polenta with mushrooms & blue cheese sauce

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Wycliffe Well, UFO capital of Australia (25 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 25, 2012, In : Travel 

Welcome to Wycliffe Well

They take the title of "UFO capital of Australia" pretty seriously in Wycliffe Well, Northern Territory. In doing so, they've certainly set themselves apart from all of the other small localities that are dotted along the Stuart Highway, which tend to blend together in the memories of that long, long road trip.

Some residents of Wycliffe Well

It's a great place to stop and stretch your legs, grab some lunch and a beer, and buy some gorgeously tacky UFO souvenirs! The walls of the cafe are lined with newspaper reports of UFO ...
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Beautiful Darwin sunsets (23 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 23, 2012, In : Travel 

There's something magical about watching the sun set over the water at Mindil Beach here in Darwin. The crowds on market nights make it a wonderful shared experience as we grab something yummy from the food and drink stalls and make our way to the beach to see what kind of show the sky will give us. Of course it's different every time, depending on the shapes of the clouds or the amount of smoke in the atmosphere (there are always fires burning somewhere nearby during the dry season).

Mindil Beach sunset crowds

Friday Photos 2012 Week 20 - Water

But do y...
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Pretty paper flowers (22 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 22, 2012, In : Creativity 

A couple of years ago, my Mum was in hospital and I was planning to buy her some flowers. Then I remembered an online tutorial that I'd come across for making carnations using tissue paper. I'd never really been one for paper crafts before, but these were really pretty - they would last longer than real flowers, and my Mum would always know that they were made with love.

Tissue Paper Carnations

The tutorial for tissue paper carnations was from the Folding Trees blog. The blog authors have stopped posting new material...
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YouTube stardom? (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 18, 2012,

Hmm, I'm not doing a very good job of daily blogging this year. I took the weekend off, a much needed break :) But now I have some catching up to do!

So I'm going to start getting back on track with a post about my cat - of course, you should know by now to expect blog posts about Roxy on a fairly regular basis - and her YouTube stardom.

Perhaps I exaggerate when I say stardom, but although I've posted a few videos of Roxy on my YouTube channel, there's only one that's really taken off in terms...
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WaterMyPhoto (14 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : Technology 

I have lots of photography and video apps on my iPhone. Most of them are free, though I've paid for a few too. They let me edit or play with photos or videos in ways that previously could only be done on a desktop or laptop computer - and sometimes in new ways altogether! Some apps try to do everything (crop, contrast, filters, frames, etc.) and others just focus on doing one thing well (panoramas, colour splash, stop motion).

WaterMyPhoto is a neat little app that does one thing well. It cost...
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Mangrove Boardwalk (11 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 11, 2012, In : Travel 

Darwin has many beautiful beaches, though they are somewhat let down by the fact that you can't swim at any of them because of the ever-present dangers of crocodiles, sharks and stingers ...

But much of Darwin's coastline is also made up of mangroves and mudflats. Today we went for a walk along the Mangrove Boardwalk in East Point Reserve.

The mangroves have a strange beauty all of their own, and their complex root systems are fascinating. These photos were taken at low tide. The same scene wou...
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Out and about in Darwin (9 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : Travel 

This is just a "what I did today" post - they tend to be more prevalent during the #blogjune challenge ;)

In the morning we visited the Alawa shops to see the new location of Dragonfly Fabrics. They're Darwin's only specialist quilting shop, and have the most amazing selection of fabrics, especially Japanese designs. They also have lots of other embroidery and sewing goodies. And you can't go to Alawa without stopping in at Dimitrios Speciality Cakes for the most beautiful cakes and Greek past...
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RNIB and Vision Australia libraries on YouTube (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 8, 2012, In : Professional 

I regularly monitor Twitter and other channels for news and developments related to accessibility in libraries and the broader community. I recently came across this YouTube video from the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) that explains the work of their National Library Service in the United Kingdom. I was so impressed by it - very professional with a clear communication of the library's value and how advocate on behalf of vision impaired readers. The contributions of some of t...
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Brrr, chilly! (6 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 6, 2012,

Everyone in Darwin had their winter woollies and long pants on today as they complained about the bitterly cold night we had just had. My colleagues wore scarves or shawls to ward off the chill. And there's no relief in sight for these poor folk - temperatures will be down all week ...

Yes, that's the week's forecast. In Darwin, that's a cold spell. I haven't re-acclimatised to the tropics yet, but even I woke up cold in the middle of the night and had to retrieve an extra coverlet from the cu...
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Manton Dam (5 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, In : Travel 

Manton Dam is located about 70km south of Darwin. It was constructed during World War II, as were many of Darwin's major infrastructure projects, and was Darwin's first reliable water supply. Now it's used as an emergency water source only - the rest of the time it's a popular recreation spot for boating and fishing, and a valuable conservation area.

Manton Dam 4

The short walk to the dam wall is very pretty, and at its end you are rewarded with a lovely view of crashing water over the curved wall. You can...
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Experimenting with origami (4 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 4, 2012, In : Creativity 

I'd never tried origami before this year, but in the space of a few months I picked up the bug! I bought a book on origami for beginners (oh alright, it's actually called Origami for Children), some lovely origami paper from a couple of Japanese shops in Melbourne, and an origami-a-day calendar for 2012. A friend of mine also gave me some origami paper that she'd bought in Japan.

My origami paper supplies are still boxed up in the craft room / home office - I can't wait to unpack them! - but I...
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Blabberize (3 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 3, 2012, In : Technology 

Last year my colleagues and I put together a fun library orientation program for students that involved treasure hunts, QR codes, animated videos and more. It was a great project to work on, and I've previously blogged about it HERE.

As part of the online version of the treasure hunt, we used video clips that I created with an online tool called Blabberize. They were silly, and they made students laugh - which was exactly the reaction we'd hoped for. They were also a hoot to play during the co...
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Welcome back to Darwin (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 2, 2012, In : Professional 

I returned to Darwin at the end of April, and also to working on campus again after 6 months of working remotely from Melbourne. It's great to be back :)

On my first day back on campus, my fellow liaison librarians surprised me with a wonderful office makeover! How lucky I am to work with such amazing people, and to be welcomed back in such style!

Return to work :)

My colourful work station

Welcome back

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What's in a name? (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 1, 2012,

Sally sets forth = sallysetsforth

I started using 'sallysetsforth' as my username for all things social and online in early 2009. Where did it come from? Well, ever since I first went online back in the '90s I've been calling myself sallyforth or a variation thereof. Usually a variation, because someone always seemed to snatch it up first!

I've always loved the term 'to sally forth'. I first heard it in a song from one of my all-time favourite musicals, The Pirates of Penzance, and was immediat...
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Goodbye June! (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 30, 2011,

Scraping in a final blog post just before midnight - this one takes me to a total of 30 posts in 30 days. Not quite blogging every day, but I'm glad I've been able to catch up and do 30 posts.

It's been a bit of a mixed bag. I haven't always had the time or energy for insightful, engaging blog posts - but I hope the readers of this blog enjoyed at least some of my offerings during the month of June :)

For my final post, I don't have much to say except to tell you that I've just been to see X-Me...
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Potato gnocchi (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 30, 2011, In : Food & Recipes 

Tim has been exercising his culinary muscles in the kitchen lately. I was very lucky earlier this week that he decided to whip up some potato gnocchi from scratch - it was utterly delicious :)

Homemade potato gnocchi collage

I made this collage using Picasa.

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Madness (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 30, 2011,

♪ ♫ Madness, madness, they call it madness ♫ ♪

Madness were a little before my time. I first came across them through their appearances on the Young Ones, but didn't know their music well at the time it was released.

It was during my Uni days that I really discovered Madness and their music. I bought several CDs, including a fantastic imported singles collection from the now (sadly) defunct Gaslight Records store on Bourke St, Melbourne.

I totally fell in love. The music with its ska and...
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Back on the boat (29 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 29, 2011, In : Travel 

We flew down to Melbourne at Easter to buy a new (second-hand) car to drive back to Darwin. On the way, we collected our boat from the friend who was kindly looking after it for us. After doing a bit of maintenance work on the boat after it being in storage, we recently took it out on its maiden voyage in Darwin :) We set out on a lovely Sunday afternoon from the Dinah Beach boat ramp in Stuart Park. The weather was just beautiful, and the water was calm. It was so great to get the boat on t...
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Cinderella (29 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 29, 2011,

It's something of a tradition that I post a favourite piece of nonsense verse at some point during a daily blogging challenge. I've previously blogged Jabberwocky (Lewis Carroll) and On the Ning Nang Nong (Spike Milligan). I've even posted some of my own adolescent poetry :)

So here's another favourite:

Cinderella by Roald Dahl

I guess you think you know this story.
You don't. The real one's much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all so...
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Easy Beetroot Risotto (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, In : Food & Recipes 

I originally posted this in the Recipe Box page on my website, but I'm now turning it into a blog post too for those who only access my site via their RSS readers :)

This is a recipe I came up with myself for a simple and colourful beetroot risotto. I first made it in Melbourne, where we had prolific rosemary bushes to call on. A dollop of yoghurt or sour cream on top would go very nicely too.

Easy Beetroot Risotto

Easy Beetroot Risotto
Serves 6

  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arbo...

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Hibiscus (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 28, 2011,

A beautiful hibiscus flowering in our garden.


One of these days I'm going to set up my tripod early in the morning and do some time lapse photography of a hibiscus opening up to greet the sun. It's one of my favourite sights from the kitchen window each morning :)

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India at Mindil (25 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 25, 2011, In : Travel 

This evening we went along to India at Mindil - a cultural festival featuring food, music and dancing that was held at Mindil Beach.

To be honest, I was underwhelmed. We bought palak paneer from one of the food stalls, and found it to be distinctly less than hot - so much so that we worried about the food safety aspect. It was a bit of a measly serve too. We made up for it with a yummy fruit shake, but in that case were let down by poor customer service.

The crowds were huge, with lots of jostl...
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FIGJAM (23 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 23, 2011, In : Professional 

Do you ever forget how good you are at your job?

I do. But today I had a nice little reminder.

A researcher needed help to locate a health questionnaire that had been published in a journal. She'd made some headway, but was stumped when it came to finding the full-text. I took her through a few steps about finding out which database holds a particular journal in full-text, how to navigate through a journal's archive to find an article, using the reference list in an article to locate source doc...
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Aspic Delight! (22 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, In : Food & Recipes 

A colleague of mine recently took part in a retro dinner party, where all of the food had to be popular dishes from the 50s and 60s. We had a marvellous conversation on this topic, dredging up all kinds of memories of foods of the era that we'd seen in films or on television, but especially from our own recipe collections. It was this conversation that inspired us to make blancmange this week :)

During our discussion, I reminisced about a set of old Weight Watchers recipe cards that my Mum onc...
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Finding Solutions: Assistive Technology Forum (21 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, In : Professional 

Today I attended a forum called "Finding Solutions: Assistive Technology in Education, Training & Employment for People with Disability or Learning Difficulties", organised by the National Disability Coordination Office Program and held at Charles Darwin University.

Accessibility is an area that I've long held an interest in and felt strongly about, so I was really glad to have the opportunity to attend this forum and learn more about what is being done in education, and what *can* be done - e...
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Blancmange (20 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 20, 2011, In : Food & Recipes 

Tonight we found ourselves with a litre or so of milk that was about to hit its due date. While pondering what to do with it, I remembered a recipe that I'd been wanting to try for ages - blancmange!

A couple of years ago, I bought some of Mrs Beeton's recipe books - reissues, or rather modernisations, of recipes from her famous book of household management that had been converted to current measurements. One of them focused on puddings and desserts, and had a section on old-fashioned rice and...
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Vintage craft book: "Celebrity Needlepoint" (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 18, 2011, In : Creativity 

Ever since our last #blogeverydayofjune adventure I've been meaning to post another instalment of vintage craft :)

Last time I blogged about one of my favourite vintage craft books, "Crafts for Fun and Profit". That book is part of my own craft book collection, but originally belonged to my Mum. Today's book is one that my Mum has hung on to - I took these photos when I visited at Christmas.

The book is called "Celebrity Needlepoint" (1972) by Joan Scobey and Lee Parr McGrath. It doesn't have a...
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Tired (17 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 17, 2011,

I have no energy for writing a blog post today.

Roxy snoozing on my pillow

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Playing with Dumpr (16 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 16, 2011, In : Technology 

I love discovering fun online tools, especially when they're free :)

Dumpr is a photo and image editing tool that I came across at the beginning of the year. It has some really nice effects available. A few of the effects that used to be free are now part of their paid "pro" package, but there are still enough free ones to make it worthwhile checking out.

I especially like the Amazing Circles effect. It doesn't work well with every image, you'll have to try a few to find out for yourself which ...
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The Library Minute (16 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 16, 2011, In : Professional 

I really like the Library Minute videos produced by Arizona State University Libraries, featuring librarian Anali Perry. They have a wonderfully light touch, are visually interesting and professional looking, and manage to impart plenty of information (but not too much!) in the space of a single minute.

Have you seen them? If not, do be sure to check out their YouTube channel. Here's one of my favourites:

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QR codes in the library - an investigative and fun orientation program (14 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, In : Professional 

I consider myself fortunate to work in a small but energetic team of liaison librarians at Charles Darwin University (CDU), and I love that new ideas for providing innovative and relevant services to our clients are encouraged here. This year we created a fun activity that incorporated library orientation, mobile technologies, learning about our on-campus and online students, promotion, and activity-based learning.

Last year, when the call for abstracts for the Third International m-libraries ...
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Sunday night at Nightcliff Jetty (13 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 13, 2011, In : Travel 

I promised that I'd do another blog post featuring Darwin sunsets, so here it is :) Last Sunday, we decided to get some hot chips and help ourselves to a sunset view at Nightcliff jetty. It turns out we weren't the only ones who had the same idea - it was absolutely packed! But there was enough coastline and enough sunset for everyone, so we eventually found somewhere to park the car and pulled out the picnic blanket to enjoy the view. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking (larger ...
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Kumihimo revisited (13 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 13, 2011, In : Creativity 

Last year I blogged about trying kumihimo (Japanese braiding) for the first time.

Since then, I've bought supplies and set to work making a number of braids using this technique. I find it very enjoyable and relaxing, and easy to do while travelling or watching TV. I've learnt about colour combinations and patterns, and my technique is definitely improving.

Daily Image 2011 - 12 June

Daily Image 2011 - 13 June

Kumihimo collection

I'm planning to use these braids to create bracelets. I've bought the jewellery findings, but turning the braids into "wearable art" is a w...
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Glenti (11 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 11, 2011, In : Travel 

Today we went along to the Greek Glenti festival, held each year in the parklands alongside the Esplanade in Darwin. It was a much bigger event than I had imagined. There were lots of very busy food stalls selling souvlaki, yiros, octopus, oysters, spanakopita, moussaka, honey puffs, baklava, and a whole lot of other sweets that I don't know the names of. Music was playing in the central stage area, and kids in traditional costumes were dancing. And somewhat to my surprise, there were carniva...
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String! (10 June)

Posted by Sally SetsForth on Friday, June 10, 2011,

The internet is made of cats.

Therefore, whenever I upload a video of my cat I am strengthening the foundations of the internet - yes? Just performing a community service really :)

String. It gets Roxy pretty excited sometimes.

If the video is too small, you can expand it to full screen or view it on my YouTube channel HERE.

If you want more kitty goodness, I've added all of my videos of Roxy (I mean, contributions to the foundations of the internet) to this YouTube playlist.

P.S. I put tonight's ...
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2011 ALIA NT Recognition Award (9 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 9, 2011, In : Professional 

On May 26, the ALIA Top End group held its annual Library & Information Week dinner, which was combined with the presentation of the 2011 ALIA NT Recognition Award. A great night was had by all :)

This was the second year that the ALIA NT Recognition Award was, well, awarded. A'Mhara Russell from the NT Department of Health Library was named as the winner, for her innovative use and promotion of Web 2.0 technologies in the library.

I was really impressed by the achievements of all of the nomine...
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Tears For Fears in the library (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 8, 2011,

There will be actual library-related posts appearing during this month, but they're all in draft form and awaiting further attention. In the meantime, please enjoy this offering.

With thanks to my colleague Julie for sending this my way :)

Dustin McLean's literal video version of Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels". Strange goings-on in the library ...

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Diana Wynne Jones (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 8, 2011,

The wonderful and oh-so-talented author Diana Wynne Jones passed away earlier this year on 26 March 2011. She'll be sorely missed. Her works will live on in the hearts and on the bookshelves of her readers. I am one of those readers, and this post is my small way of thanking her for enriching my reading life.

I'm actually not a big fan of either fantasy fiction or young adult fiction. But the most notable exceptions to the rule are, strangely, where the two genres intersect. Some of my favouri...
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Fannie Bay, milkshakes and fish & chips (7 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Travel 

I didn't really intend for this month's blog posts to be of the "what I did today" variety. Mostly because a mixture of the wet season, assignments, work and tiredness over the last few months have meant that I don't usually do very much that's worth reporting on. But now that the semester is over, assignments are finished, work is settling down and the weather is so much better, I'm finding that I'm getting out and about a bit more. And since the original intent of this blog was to keep my f...
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Saturday night at Cullen Bay (5 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 5, 2011, In : Travel 

You can't spend all of your time studying - sometimes you need to get out and remind yourself that there's life away from the computer. On Saturday I pined for the beautiful day outside while I was stuck in the study, but when evening approached it was time to take a break and get some fresh air. Tim and I decided to get some dinner at Cullen Bay, but first we stopped off at the boat ramp near the Darwin Ski Club in Fannie Bay. Checking out boat ramps is a regular activity for us, especially...
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Study blues (5 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 5, 2011,

I just submitted my final assignment for the semester. Huge feeling of relief. It was almost a week late, due to an awful combination of illness and fatigue. But I finally got it done.

Illness aside, I wish I knew a way to study that didn't involve massive disruption to everything else in my life. Last minute/day/week assignment panic. All those days and nights where I think I will finish the thing, then discover (or simply decide) that there's lots more still to do - those darn perfectionist ...

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Okonomiyaki (3 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 3, 2011, In : Food & Recipes 

I have an assignment to finish, so I'm copping out a bit tonight by posting a recipe. But hopefully you will love it so much that you'll forgive me ;)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) is a regular dish at our place. It's so simple and delicious. And it's popular too :) It was the first recipe I ever added to my Recipe Box page, and in fact was the reason that I originally created the page, as it was easier than emailing the recipe to everyone that asked for it!

Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
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Hello dry season! (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 2, 2011, In : Travel 

This is the blog post where I gloat about the beautiful weather in Darwin :)

While you've all been enjoying spring, summer and autumn, here in Darwin we had the build-up (also known as the suicide season because the weather is *that* bad) and the wet season (along with a record-breaking 3 metres of rain!).

But now that you're all turning the heaters on for winter, it's Darwin's turn to shine. The dry season.

About a month ago, the weather in Darwin turned and the dry season arrived. The transiti...
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Blogging again (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 1, 2011,

Glutton for punishment that I am, I have decided to participate once again in the challenge to blog every day of June.

My blog's been pretty quiet this year due to a multitude of reasons. But I have been jotting down my thoughts and activities every now and then, and my drafts folder has been growing and growing. So although I certainly won't have an excess of spare time on my hands in June, I figured this was a good push to get some of those drafts out there - and then you all might have a bi...
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Last day (30 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, In : Professional 

Well, today is the last day of #blogeverydayofjune

Victorian Parliamentary Library

It's also my last day at work, having finished my contract at the Victorian Parliamentary Library. Again.

Although I'm ready for new adventures in new libraries in new places, I will always have the fondest memories of working with the wonderful group of people at "Parl" :)

I played tourist in my own workplace today and got snap happy. I hope you enjoy these photos of the gorgeous library that I've been lucky enough to work at for the last three...
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Public service (29 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, In : Professional 

I'm generally reluctant to state opinions on my blog. I really enjoy discussing hot topics with friends and colleagues, but part of my enjoyment of it comes from the fact that the exchange of ideas goes both ways. Although we may agree to disagree, more often than not I'll learn something from the discussion and consider issues from different viewpoints. But blogging isn't really like that. If I put something out there, it feels like I'm publishing a "statement". So I'm going out on a bit of ...

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Oh Mandy (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 28, 2010,

This post will catch me up for the couple that I missed. And since I've already done one serious blog post today, this is just a fun one :)

I'm a Barry Manilow fan. For real.

The first time I listened to a Barry Manilow album, it was for a joke. But the joke was on me, because I loved it! I promptly stole all of my parents' LPs and picked up some more at op shops. I bought and read his autobiography. I got one of my LPs *signed* by Barry himself at Westfield Doncaster. And I went to one of his ...
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The importance of accessibility (28 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 28, 2010, In : Professional 

This post was actually inspired quite early on in the #blogeverydayofjune challenge by @geomancer's gratitude post, in which she lists her eyesight as something she's very thankful for. This immediately touched a cord in me, as I also feel very fortunate to have my - heavily corrected by optometrists - eyesight.

I started wearing glasses as a teenager. Most of the time it's easy for me to take this vision correction for granted, but now and then I wonder what life would have been like for me...

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Roxy (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 27, 2010,

We have a cat. Her name is Roxy. I love her.

Except when she throws up on the carpet, scratches the furniture, sheds hair all over my clothes, sprays on the laundry hamper (only once, when she was stressed), won't swallow the darn tablet, causes an allergic reaction when she scratches me, hogs the doona, and rips up the carpet at the front door so that we can't get into the house.

But then she snuggles up to us in bed each night, follows us around the house because she likes to be in the same r...
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Vintage craft book: "Crafts for Fun and Profit" (27 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 27, 2010, In : Creativity 

Well, I missed another #blogeverydayofjune post yesterday due to illness. I don't know if I can make up for it in the few days left, but I'll do my best ;)

I love flicking through vintage craft books. Occasionally I will buy one to add to my book collection, but there are so many out there that I have to restrain myself! I try to only collect books that have continuing appeal, but I must confess to having picked up a so-bad-it's-good book from time to time :)

This book is one of my faves. It wa...
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Manic (25 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 25, 2010,

Yesterday was manic. So crazy, so busy, so packed, that if I tried to tell you all about it I would probably collapse in an exhausted heap just from thinking about it!

Anyway, something had to give, and in this case it was my daily blog post. I'll do an extra one over the weekend to make up for it :)

Tonight, I'm having a deliberately unproductive night. I'm going to make a pizza and watch Poirot telemovies on the couch.

Then I'm going to make like the cat and sleep, sleep, sleep ...

Roxy sleeping 2

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Ning Nang Nong (23 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 23, 2010,

I have a real soft spot for nonsense verse :)

On the Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

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Cold Day (22 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 22, 2010,

I was just having a quick look through my folder of draft blog posts (searching for something that I could finish off and post quickly) when I came across a post that I wrote when I was blogging every day in December - my Advent calendar of blog posts. Oh, and yes I am obviously a glutton for punishment to do it all over again!

The post that caught my attention was called "Hot Day". And it occurred to me that the perfect title for this blog post, 6 months later, is "Cold Day". Last night was...

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Flickr find (21 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 21, 2010,

I'm working on a job application right now, so don't have time for a full blog post.

Instead, I'm sharing this lovely photo uploaded to Flickr by the Victorian Public Records Office.

This is how the State Bank handled internal correspondence until 1974. It reminds me of the tubes used to disseminate "information" in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Also, check out the shoes!

Internal communications at State Bank head office

P.S. Let's not talk about how much time I spent on Flickr looking for a photo that I liked, when I could have been ei...
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French knitting (20 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 20, 2010, In : Creativity 

I was a bit surprised that I hadn't written more craft-related blog posts this month, considering how much I talk (and think) about it, but then I realised that I've spent so much of my spare time blogging that I didn't have much time left over for crafting!

Despite that, I did find some time to play with my new crafty toy. It's a French knitting bee, also known as a knitting nancy or a spool knitter (remember those cotton spools with nails hammered into the top?). Most people come across thes...
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Georgette Heyer (19 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 19, 2010,

I first discovered Georgette Heyer's books when I babysat the children of a family friend. I can't recall now whether she loaned me some of the books, or whether I read them at her house after the children had gone to bed, but I do vividly remember that she had a whole shelf full of them, and I thought it was wonderful!

Once I started reading Georgette Heyer, I couldn't stop! I absolutely devoured her books as a teenager. The Regency romances were my favourites, but I also enjoyed her histori...
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The Sharp (18 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 18, 2010,

This post is dedicated to Jenelle! It's a response to her blog post about Icehouse that sprang from a fun Twitter conversation / singalong :)

The Sharp released most of their singles during my first couple of years at Uni. I saw them perform at Union House (University of Melbourne), and thought they were pretty wonderful!

They are probably better remembered for their skivvies and the big double bass than their music, but they really did create some terrific songs. I still play them on a fairly ...
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Hoya (17 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 17, 2010,

I have so many blog posts in draft form, but they need more polishing than I have time for tonight. *sigh*

So I thought I'd share a photo of one of my favourite things :)

Hoya Carnosa

This beautiful Hoya Carnosa is growing on my back balcony. I adore its waxy texture, starburst shape, sweet scent and velvety petals - truly a feast for all of the senses!

Hoya Carnosa is my favourite variety (we always had a plant growing next to my parents' front verandah), but there are many different Hoya species available ...
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Simon's Cat (16 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 16, 2010,

I'm tired and this is a lazy post.

But if you haven't met Simon's Cat yet, then you're in for a treat :)

You can see more videos at the Simon's Cat YouTube channel and at the official Simon's Cat website. Oh, and there's an app for that.

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In the firing line (15 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, In : Professional 

I don't normally blog about my workplace, but I'd like to share an experience that I had today.

This afternoon I spent four hours on the reference desk, and during that time I encountered what is often referred to in library circles as a "nutter".

Happily, not in person. My workplace is a special library, and is something of a closed shop to the general public. But we do have a phone number, and sometimes take questions from members of the public, as long as they are relatively easy and quick ...
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Coconut macaroons (14 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 14, 2010, In : Food & Recipes 

I know it hasn't been very long since my last recipe blog post, but I brought these coconut macaroons along to #creativebarter on Saturday and was told that I *must* post the recipe :)

Easy Coconut Macaroons

Easy Coconut Macaroons

Makes approx. 15

  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tb cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt


  • Combine coconut, sugar and cornflour in bowl. Beat together egg and salt, stir into dry ingredients; mix well.
  • Place heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture on to greased and cornfloured oven tray (or tray cover...

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Crochet lesson (13 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 13, 2010, In : Creativity 

Thank you so much to Kim for giving Ruth, Zaana and I our first crochet lessons on Saturday!

We were all terrible fumble fingers to begin with, but one by one we started to get the hang of it :)

Crochet lesson (2010)

My first attempt is pretty wobbly looking. I accidentally twisted it at some point, so I'm pretending that it's a crocheted Möbius strip ;)

Crochet, first try (2010)

I've been itching to learn crochet for *so* long! The technique feels very strange, especially for an ex-knitter (though not a very good one). I can see a lot of pr...
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Creative Barter Mark II (12 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 12, 2010, In : Creativity 

Today I spent an awesome afternoon with fellow Twitterers, librarians and crafters Ruth, Kim and Zaana when we met up for a #creativebarter swap session.

I've described #creativebarter in a previous blog entry - basically we swap items that utilise our own special creative skills. Kim creates amazing crochet pieces, Ruth makes gorgeous pottery, and Zaana is a talented artist and print maker. Oh, and I cross stitch amongst other things :)

I'd like to extend my personal thanks to Zaana for being ...
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Choices, choices (11 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 11, 2010,

Just a few days ago I was talking about plans on this blog. Well, Tim and I were pretty set on our latest plan, and excitedly looking forward to putting it into action.

And then ... I saw a job advertisement in my inbox. All of a sudden, we're looking at a completely different possible future - also an exciting one.

So instead of all the things that I expected to be doing tonight, we ended up hashing out the pros and cons of our two options, which included doing sums to figure out what we could...
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Walnut meringues (10 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 10, 2010, In : Food & Recipes 

This recipe for walnut meringues is one of my favourites! I usually double it because they're so yummy (and more-ish!). Meringues are much easier than you would think - try this out for yourself and see! The walnuts make them extra special :)

Walnut Meringues

Walnut Meringues
Makes approx. 10

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Beat egg white until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar, beat until dissolved. Fold in brown s...

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Tumbling - again (9 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, In : Technology 

I've previously written a blog post about Tumblr, but I've decided to revisit it after posting a comment about it on moonflowerdragon's blog tonight.
I use Tumblr in addition to my more traditional blogging platform here. I use it differently - it's more for finding, recording and sharing sources of art/craft/visual inspiration that I find on the web.

Here's the link to my Tumblr -

It's very easy to use. There's a bookmarklet that makes it really simple to send ...

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Overcoming the collecting gene (8 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 8, 2010,

Sometimes I joke that collecting is in my genes - after all, both of my parents were avid collectors. But really, I was *taught* to collect from an early age. I learnt from the example set by my parents, and I was also encouraged to begin my own collections.

As a child, I collected:

  • stickers
  • anything related to Snoopy
  • badges and pins
  • Avon perfume bottles
  • novelty erasers
  • Princess Di memorabilia

At University I got hooked on science fiction and Star Trek, and began collecting bas...

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Strahan (7 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, June 7, 2010, In : Travel 

I'm in the mood for sharing some photos :)

I've just uploaded to Flickr a collection of photos taken on a trip to Strahan, on Tasmania's west coast, in August 2006.

We flew from Melbourne to Burnie to meet up with a friend who was working there at the time, then drove down to the pretty township of Strahan. We went for a walk along the beach, explored the town and had dinner at the pub. I loved our accommodation at Risby Cove - complimentary port! The next day we went on an amazing Gordon River...
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Pie fight! (6 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, June 6, 2010,

I've been feeling a bit low today, so I'm going to post a link to a video that never fails to cheer me up :)

This pie fight scene is from The Great Race. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were wonderful on screen together (Some Like It Hot is another of my favourite films). Tony Curtis plays the hero, The Great Leslie, complete with sparkling white teeth. Jack Lemmon is the villainous Professor Fate, dressed all in black (he also plays Crown Prince Hapnick in a mistaken identity subplot). Natalie Wo...
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The best laid plans (5 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, June 5, 2010,

I've been thinking a bit about the ups and downs of planning for the future. I'm talking about personal plans, the 5-year and 10-year kind.

The problem with making these sorts of plans is that you never know what's around the corner. Career, family circumstances, relationships, health, study, etc. - all of these things can jump up and throw your plans into disorder.

BUT - that's no reason not to plan. We all need something to look forward to, and aim towards. In my own past experience, writing ...
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Kitchen-appliance-aholic? (4 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, June 4, 2010, In : Food & Recipes 

I suspect I'm not the only blogger dusting off old draft posts for the #blogeverydayofjune challenge, so here's one I prepared earlier ... *lol*

Some time ago, there was a discussion on Twitter about the joys of bench mixers. I regret to say that I still haven't used my Kenwood Chef to whip something up as I promised that day. You'll know when I do, though, because proud pictures will be posted!

That discussion got me thinking (and not for the first time, I'll admit) about the number of kitchen...
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Excitement! (3 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Food & Recipes 

I've just arrived home after a lovely evening of dinner and DVDs with my Mum. The dinner was fish and chips (or in my case, a vege burger and chips) and the DVD we watched was a couple of episodes of early Poirot, starring David Suchet.

But the excitement that my blog post title refers to was in regards to a new local shop that we discovered this evening while waiting for our chips ...

An Indian grocery store!!!!

To put this high level of enthusiasm in context, you need to know two things:

(1)  T...

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Ode to the Book Depository (2 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, June 2, 2010,
Oh how I heart thee, Book Depository!
  • Your prices are so cheap, even after converting them into Australian dollars
  • Your postage is free worldwide, yes *FREE*
  • You have a wide selection of books that I would have great difficulty finding in Australia
  • You include a free bookmark with every order
  • Your books always arrive in Australia, all the way from the UK, within a week or two of ordering
  • You politely say "Thank you ever so much for placing an order with us" :)
This is not a sponsored testimonial, bu...
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#blogeverydayofjune (1 June)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, In : Professional 

An absolute flurry of tweets erupted today, with many of my library friends and colleagues from Australia and New Zealand committing to blogging every day in June. Thanks to @stephmcg and @flexnib for starting the ball rolling! :)

I've "signed up" to the challenge, partly to enjoy and participate in the community spirit of it, and partly to re-energise my blog. I found the experience of blogging every day of the Advent calendar in December to be both challenging (thinking of things to write ab...
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Sally Cummings

Artist. Designer. Crafter. Librarian. Foodie. Geek.
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Maneki Neko welcome image (by IcoJoy)

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