Spooking about the town

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The inspiration for my Halloween costume came late one evening as I was trying on the costumes in my collection to find nothing that I felt like being or wearing for Halloween. It is nice to have a lot of ideas like a Hawaiian tourist, disco ball, square dancer but I really wanted a dance inspired costume so off to my fabric stash I went.I found this black and white fabric at an estate sale and it was just perfect for a swinging 1960s theme dress. This was a lot of fun to dance in as the primary reason for my costumes are wearing them to my aerobic dance class!

The makeup I worked with on Friday night was for Trunk or Treat with the kids and I used a black eyeliner underneath my lipstick for some Halloween depth. Monday when I went to class it was a lot of fun with a similar hairdo but not as dark on the makeup. Each year we do a group photograph to inspire us for Halloween next year. Our teacher Joan, is Carmen Miranda in the front row.

In amongst all the Halloween activities this weekend we went to the SFMOMA to meet friends from Oakland and check out the new exhibits. It was a beautiful rainy morning so after wandering a couple of galleries we had a break with some Dick Taylor Hot Chocolate crafted in Eureka – it was divine! Oh, and I have an inside hint for coat check – there is one on the 2nd Floor where you get your tickets and that is where you find the red bathroom (see the pic above) – the line is not as long when you want to take off!

For lunch in San Francisco, we went to Lemonade and my vegetarian friend and I enjoyed a yummy artichoke and provolone toasted sandwich and I shared a grasshopper pie (mint with chocolate cookie crumbs) with Mr. Ash for dessert. It is lovely to check out the area of SOMA and Lemonade was the perfect place for a family friendly meal. Everyone was happy and it has a seasonal menu as well – now that is the business.

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Man, look who hijacked my camera when I was not looking – Mack and Ash!

For Halloween day after school, we went to the farm to do the weekly chicken chores as we were in the car a lot and listening to my favorite radio station KDFC – the classical music station of the Bay Area was playing Halloween themed music all day, check out the playlist here. It got us into the mood for a very long evening ahead of us for the start of the week – whew!

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Trick or Treating after the chicken chores we met with Missy’s school friends in the Bubb neighborhood and wandered a street or two there before heading over to see another friend in the Sylvan Park neighborhood and checked out their dragon sculpture – the kids had a super time but after their sugar high were very tired by the time they went to bed.

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When I was shopping in the morning I loved the makeup of one of the Whole Foods employees who I regularly chat with. She is from Mexico and we were talking about Day of the Dead which is on November 1st. I loved her makeup and I was getting some hints on how to achieve this stunning design which took her 3 hours. Halloween and its festivities are one of my favorite times of the year and I will have to start thinking of my costume for next year – maybe a crazy cat lady!

Home is whenever i’m with you

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Home, let me come home
Home is whenever I’m with you
Home, yes I am home
Home is wherever I’m with you

Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros

This week we have spent a lot of time in the city – meeting friends, catching up eating and drinking! Melbourne is at it’s finest with the incredible food that is available for whatever cuisine that takes your fancy. We found vegan superfood at a fancy shopping centre and enjoyed sushi and juice with a former work friend, in fact, the editor of the magazine I used to work for. We enjoyed many a deadline together working late into the night with the publishers. He is coming stateside next week for a while to see what goes on, so with some luck, we will catch up and chat – living life in the U S of A.

In exploring our local hood we discovered a kitschy cafe called True North down the road and hidden amongst the cafe are cats. Cats in the loo, cats on the wall, cats on the shelves and cats up high. The kids really enjoyed the American influenced menu with Quesadillas, bagels with cream cheese and a passionfruit jam, Rueben sandwiches and granola, food that they are totally familiar with! They enjoyed the hot chocolate and was gulped down so fast I didn’t even get to try it! The flat white coffee was so strong and damn good – I enjoyed a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and jam rather than a slice of pie with that coffee. Next time we go I will try their sweet pies from Blackberry Belle Homemade Pies – as I am a big pastry fan!

Shining in all its glory on a Wednesday night throughout the winter are the Winter night markets at the Queen Victoria Market. Being a food lover this is a foodie paradise! I had seen the Okonomiyaki (the Japanese omelette) on their Instagram but I did not realise it was on chopsticks and ready to eat covered in Kewpie mayo – just divine, I wanted more! The hubby went for smokey baked beans and brisket from Burn City Smokers, who love American BBQ. Missy went for a Sicilian margarita pizza with a base so thin and cooked to perfection. Dessert was a hard call – do we go for the M&M sundae, no thanks M&Ms suck so instead we went for the Creme Brulee and Chocolate Cannoli. Holy moly cannoli so glad I ran out of cash as I could have been eating way more dessert and staying for late night movie shorts and eating popcorn, it was such a fun night out with the kids.

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I had a hole in the calendar and I thought, ‘Maybe I can carve out some Mama time?’ I asked my hubby to hang with the munchkins and managed to score a trip all on my lonesome to the 200 years of Australian Fashion exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria Australia. I am happiest wandering through a gallery solo at my own pace learning and being inspired so it was a wonderful way to spend the morning. On the train, I was listening to Big Magic read by Elizabeth Gilbert – such a perfect way to spend my free time being inspired for when we get back to our other home in California.

In wandering through the 200 years of fashion to a more contemporary time the 1980’s I found the queen of knitwear of that era Jenny Kee and her co-collaborator Linda Jackson. I watched a video of the history of how these twin souls met in Sydney. They enjoyed creating clothes just for fun and with this collaboration their Flamingo Park Frock Salon began. The ladies work with colour reflecting the Australian landscape and to this day they still enjoy colour!

There was a cool soundtrack to the exhibition and the sounds of the 1990’s  were coming through the next room I knew I had to be in there! This room was full of the 1990s clubbing fashion and disco tiles for the dance floor. Again by some strange serendipity, I found an Australian star of upcycling, Jenny Bannister. To think that back there in the early 70’s she was making sun dresses out of curtains. She was such an innovator back in the day using whatever she had on hand to create art. I enjoyed seeing the fusion of art and craft in fashion at this part of the exhibition.

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For the finale, this piece was commissioned by the designer Dion Lee – a young designer out of Sydney. It was a larger than life dress made out of stretch jersey fabric covered with Swarovski crystals – in the light this was breathtaking. I loved his architectural line detail in his clothes especially on the braided felt detail on the back of the jacket he created for Woolmark.

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I couldn’t leave the gallery without wandering through the collection to see what the gallery has in its collection. One sculpture I remember from long ago is this larger than life Ricky Swallow piece entitled Model for a Sunken Monument.

To enjoy this time out is a true blessing and I am so thankful for the time I get to spend alone and surrounded by art.

 

Through the streets of your town

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Monday we had an adventure day out into the big city! I am currently living an hour away from the city on the Peninsula which has been fine with me and the kids. The city is where I spent a lot of my time when I left home and lived in the inner city of Brizvegas. Good times were had in the city and usually every weekend we would get dressed up and head on into the city for a night out on the town. On Monday our primary objective was to get some yummy food from the Miel Container on Mary Street in the city. The food there is primarily customized burgers but for a non-meat eater, pescaterian I had a meal of beer battered chips and crumbed flathead  topped with parmesan cheese and balsamic and a bit of tartare sauce on the side.

Lucky for us we went in for an early lunch, as the plan was to head into the container (a shipping container space) with a few tables outside which we snagged. Thank goodness for the rain combined with the school holidays the crowds were non-existent and we could sit down and enjoy our early lunch. The kids loved the chilli con-carne to share and Rupert our guide for the day enjoyed the burger with a brioche bun. Lunch for me was definitely worth the journey and I need to try this at home – that is the parmesan on the fish and chips.

To complete our quick trip to the city we wanted to check out GOMA – the Gallery of Modern Art which has been opened for a while – I had not been to the Galleries of Southbank in years. This is a welcome addition to the Brisbane Art scene and it was refreshing to see that there was a kids event and around the galleries the theme was a welcome mat focusing on the Indian Art of Rangoli. The kids worked with the artist My Aunty Anna – Kate Jefferay to create a large installation outside weaving fabric into the piece and making pom poms. With each pom pom the kids made they got to make a wish and eventually it formed a massive lotus flower and looked so beautiful (see on the link above). It was a perfect time to visit, even though it was raining.

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Inside GOMA and ready to check out some modern art, we found this massive still life of fruit and enjoyed power posing!

Other exhibits we checked out were Ah Xian and the Gabori sisters for the kiddos with a super cool interactive under sea exhibit. We wandered around the space and found this room with time capsules that used video tape to form a cylinder – I had no idea what it was made from until I spoke to one of the docents.

By the time we left the skies were blue and from the GOMA I captured this great shot of the river in the sunshine with some fancy new buildings. By the end of our day the kids enjoyed an ice block and we were ready to head home before the commuter traffic set in.