Since I am funemployed I have quite a bit of time to do crafts. (Which is amazing, by the way!)

I crossstitched a sprite on to one of Scott’s hoodies using waste canvas.

The trickiest bit is pinning the waste canvas in the right spot, with interfacing on the back, and then setting it in a frame without everything getting all out of place. But once it’s all set up you just cross stitch like normal, although you have to use a pointy needle and it’s way harder on your fingers to get it through all the layers.

Finished. They are apparently characters from Final Fantasy VI. Iunno, he picked them. :P

Then you get to do the best part, pulling the white strings out. I dunked the whole thing in water to soften the fibres, and then pulled out each strand out the side with tweezers. It takes a little while, but it’s satisfying.

All done.

What the back looks like. I also cut out another rectangle of ironable interfacing and ironed it on top, in an attempt to seal up all the loose ends. I don’t know how well that will hold up, but so far it’s working.

I used DMC threads, so we can launder it like normal, the only thing is that I told Scott to make sure the zipper is done up when he puts it in the washing machine so less chance of something like a tooth catching and pulling something out. It feels pretty secure in general though.

Pretty happy with how it turned out. Now I want to monogram everything!

I got this metal tuk tuk kit in Thailand. All the pieces came in two small flat sheets. You just punch the pieces out and follow the instructions, bending pieces and twisting tiny tabs with needlenose pliers that lock everything into place. It took me a good few hours to finish and I stabbed my fingertips many many times. I definitely made some mistakes, as the instructions weren’t super great, but I think it turned out pretty neat. It’s about 7 cm tall, by the way. I would totally like to try another kit!

I finished my koala in a funny shirt crossstitch… I will post a picture soon. Next project, a matching sea otter in a woolly sweater.

I’d always wanted to try cooking an artichoke, but found it all very confusing. What part do you eat?? Scott’s dad gave me one of his homegrown artichokes to experiment with, and well, I’ve finally figured it out.

This be yer artichoke.

Pull off all the tiny leaves at the base, and discard. Also use a vegetable peeler and peel off a few layers of the stem. Cut the stem shorter too.

Use scissors and cut all the tips off of the petals. I guess sometimes they are pointy? They weren’t sharp on this babby artichoke but I still did it, I dunno.

All trimmed up.

Use a knife and cut off the whole top of the artichoke so it’s flat. Then steam it flat side down. Mine was pretty small so I only steamed it for 15 minutes, but more normal sized ones would take 20-30 minutes. You can tell when it’s done when you can easily pull out a petal.

It’s ready! To eat, you just pull off the petals, dip them in butter or aioli or whatevs (seriously, artichokes are pretty much just dip vessels) and scrape the white soft stuff with your teeth. Don’t expect to get much from the leaves.

As you get closer to the center the petals turn into these weird thin white flaps. We didn’t eat those. Just keep pulling them off.

And eventually you’ll get to the crazy looking choke part.

Thankfully you aren’t supposed to eat the hairy bit. Just scrape it off with a spoon. The part that is left is what you can buy in jars from the supermarket. This was a bit of a revelation to me.

Slice it up and you can eat that part too.

Done.

“These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.” – Miss Piggy

I had a serious fish and chips on the beach craving last weekend. We were going to drive down towards Brighton, but there was a race going on and the traffic was nutso. Thankfully we live a 10 minute walk from St Kilda beach, where you can find Paper Fish, a trendy fish and chippery.

We got battered gummy and grilled blue grenadier, with chips and tartare sauce. It cost a bit more than I would have liked for the size, but it was nice quality. We especially liked the blue grenadier, and the cajun-ish seasoning on the fries.

Paper Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HULLO AGAIN.

As you probably already heard, I passed my exam. What a relief. I still think about it sometimes and revel in the amazing feeling that I don’t have to become a taxi driver.

But funny (?) story, I got another email last week from my new case officer that said “as your application deadline is rapidly approaching and you still haven’t told us if you passed your exam, do you want to withdraw your application?”. WAT!!?! I did not think that I would have to tell THEM that I passed THEIR exam. But apparently I did, and then my registration was finalized a couple hours later. Ah bureaucracy, so fun.

And then speaking of silly bureaucracy… I got a letter from the Australian Electoral Commission saying that I was not registered as voter at this address. Umm duh. So then I had to send THEM back a form telling them that I’m not a citizen! WHY ARE THESE THINGS MY PROBLEM??

I wonder what else I haven’t notified people about.

Anyway so I’m finally able to apply for jobs. I applied for all three that are posted right now. I have absolutely no clue how much competition there will be. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to get a job.

It was real hot today. 35ºC. And the forecast for tomorrow… 16. Melbourne, you crazy.

Some pictures:

We had some friends over to watch hockey a few weeks ago. I made Nanaimo squares for the first time ever! They turned out DELICIOUS! Although Scott and I agree that the middle layer should be the thickest, not the bottom layer, so I would probably adjust the ratios when I make them again.

I used this recipe, but had to use smashed up cookies instead of graham cracker crumbs because they don’t exist here.

L-R: Kathy (aunt), April (niece), Brett (bro), Beau (nephew), Vicky (mum)!

April had her 3rd birthday party at a park. It was watermelon themed. There was a bbq, and footy kicking, and presents galore! I think she had a good day.

We also went to Blairgowrie for a night, way down near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, on the other side of Port Philip Bay. We stayed with Shaun and Karen and baby Archie, and the boys went golfing one afternoon. We got to try fresh abalone that their friend caught that afternoon. I didn’t take any pictures the whole time though, whoops.

That’s all I can think of right now.

Cassia invited me for a visit last week and since I was just bumming around and flexible enough to get cheap flights to Adelaide… I accepted.

Extra leg room is so wasted on me.

Jill, Cassia and I went on a drive to Hahndorf. It was rainy and sunny and warm and freezing, but we had a nice little stroll through town and lunch in a cozy cafe with fireplaces.

After lunch we drove through the hills a bit on the way to Mt Lofty. I found a koala immediately after getting out of the car. No, the novelty of koalas has not worn off for me yet. They are so cute!

And then we went out for a super delicious French-Vietnamese dinner at Cliché. I got to try the cheese soufflé, crispy pork belly (!!!) and beef cheeks that were incredibly tender. All great.

The next day Cassia and I did a lot of quality hanging out. We also went for a walk through the botanical gardens and through the city. So many bats! Bats are cool.

Cassia had to work on Tuesday so I spent the day with Jill. It was Melbourne Cup day so we went to a pub and wore fascinators and watched the race. We bought a few of those random horse tickets, and one of ours came in second. Woot!

That night we all went out to do trivia at a nearby bar. We won three out of four free jugs, haha! (We gave two of them away.) And we ended up coming in second. Not bad for a team of foreigners. Pablo knows abs!

Cassia and I before going to work/going home. Thanks for a great visit Dafoe’s!! I had a nice time, and it definitely helped distract myself from waiting for my test results.