Wednesday, October 31, 2012


And I realised just after writing the last post that I didn't put addresses on the postcards that I sent. I put stamps on them! My last two stamps, actually. And I wrote the recipients' names. But no addresses. Smart, Kusems.

Outgoing mail: Three birthdays and a ballot

I made a birthday card for my Pops using images of trains and trams and travel-y things. There were also birthday postcards for Jody and Aparna, and my official King County absentee ballot. Woot woot!

I love that monster postcard.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I voted!

Here in Australia, voting is mandatory. Isn't that amazing? Could you imagine what it would do for American politics if it was mandatory to vote in every election? What is the point of government for and by the people if the people don't participate in it?

Having said that, I hate politics. Normally, I find voting pretty dull, but I do it because it's important. But voting this year is exciting, at least in Washington State. There's yet another opportunity to vote down a Tim Eyman initiative, a measure for the legalisation of marijuana, a chance to support or oppose equal marriage rights for all citizens, and another opportunity to fill in a box for a presidential candidate that I really believe in (voting for John Kerry in 2004 was so painful.)

I was really proud to fill in the "Approved" oval for Referendum 74. Not just because I'm super excited about my little sister's wedding next year, which is gonna be off the hook, wha- wha-!! But because I was raised to believe that love and commitment are good things. I'm also the child of not one but two divorces, so I don't sit around and listen to anyone who tries to tell me about the sanctity of man to woman marriage blah blah blah. C'mon people, I've seen the reality.

Side note: I probably spent the most mental effort debating the marijuana thing. As someone who has never smoked or ingested pot, and who sees no reason to ever do it except in the case of future illness, I don't have a particular interest in it being legalised. The more I read about it, the more the language of the initiative sounded dubious. Some proponents of decriminalising marijuana oppose the initiative because of the specific system that it sets up. It sounded to me that, if I wanted marijuana to be legal, this would not be the system under which I would want it to be legal. It just doesn't sound anything like the utopia that marijuana proponents are hoping for.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Incoming mail: from Thailand!

A new pencil bag from Etsy arrived this week. Sadly, it's a bit too short to fit my colored pencils, but everything else fits well. It's made from strong recycled material that appears to have come from a scientific product of some sort. Awesome!

Bag by Chok Dee, photo by me

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bakker Burke collectibles

There's a store down the road from here that sells random junk and furniture, and I like to stop in there periodically to treasure hunt. I recently learned that it's called Bakker Burke Collectibles (I don't recall ever seeing a sign on the front). I headed over there to pick up a date stamp I had clocked on a previous visit. The stamp only covers the years 2000 up to 2011, but at 50 cents, the price was right. I also grabbed another stamp that said "Munro Bros." for another 50 cents. Cool!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Day Out and About

Hugh told me about a cafe in our neighborhood located in a disused train station. Then I read about it on the thousands, so I decided it was time to check it out. It's called the Loose Caboose and the menu is timetable-themed. And though the building itself is no longer used as a train stop, the railway is still in use for commuter trains, which stop outside the cafe every 15 min. I sat at a long wooden table and had a latte and the soup du jour, which had lots of ingredients, the only one of which I remember was bacon. It was tiz-asty. It's a really cool cafe, and the food was good,'s a new place and they don't seem to have quite worked out the details yet. Hugh's sister went there another day and had a similar experience to me. It was just kind of unclear whether you're supposed to seat yourself, when and where to order, that sort of thing. I'm sure they'll fine-tune everything soon. Also, the food is on the pricey side for a cafe, but it's really tasty and well done, so it's justified. Basically, it's the sort of cafe to go to if you want to relax a bit, are looking for a fancier lunch, and have some cash to burn. In other words, if you're not me. I'm happy to let my man take me there for brunch, though!

After lunch, I headed up to Hindmarsh Disposals to check for free vinyl records (they often have a box with free records and books in front of the shop). I was looking for cool record covers for a project I was planning (and have since abandoned). I grabbed a few, then headed for the tram.

I love the cover of this "Songs of Norway" album! The colors are great. Too bad they put red marks across the ones they're giving away.

The tram is free from the Entertainment Centre through the city to South Terrace, so it is my preferred mode of public transport ;-) I had received an email from kikki.k offering $10 off any purchase (no minimum spend!) and I had a wish list to work from. In the end, I bought a book of assorted stickers and some brightly colored ink pads. I've already used the ink pads loads for my scrapbook, and I just love these sailor-y stickers!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Work in progress: cap sleeve lattice top

I've been working on this lately. The below picture is from Purl Soho. Mine is not that far yet, and probably won't look that impeccable when complete.

Cap Sleeve Lattice Top, photo from the Purl bee
It's from Purl Soho's the Purl bee blog. I'm excited to wear it during spring and summer. It's already getting pretty warm and that breezy lattice top looks so inviting. The wool they recommend sounds really nice, but it's pricey, and though I know that it's almost always worth the extra money to use high quality wool, I think I was a bit too eager to get started on this baby. I found some cheap yarn from Spotlight and Lincraft, which I may regret, but we'll see. So far, so good!

Ravelry link here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christmas countdown begins

I've started receiving emails about Christmas. Cath Kidston just sent this:

The countdown begins, eh? Normally, I'd be enraged. Christmas adverts before Halloween has even passed?? But I think being in the southern hemisphere has messed up my brain. For one thing, they don't really get into Halloween here, better yet Thanksgiving. So I'm not in the mindset of using those holidays as landmarks. In the northern hemisphere, I get annoyed at early Christmas talk because I kind of just want to enjoy autumn first, then transition naturally into winter. But here it's spring! And with Christmas comes summer. It has completely confused me, to the point that I'm like, "Christmas? Well, alright, if you insist."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Note to self: do not attempt to enjoy a romantic twilight dinner on the back porch--the mozzies here can bite through clothing. In 20 min, I had two bites on my ankle, two on my knee, one on my left thigh, two on my right, one on the back of my right thigh, two on my arm and one on my wrist. Good thing there's no malaria here!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Julia Rothman Illustrations

As one of my current goals is to write more letters, I was looking for cute stationery today. There's a really beautiful drawing of an Adelaide landmark by an artist called Julia Rothman, and I was hoping maybe she would have some stationery for sale on her website, but alas, nothing Adelaide- or even Australia-related. Turns out she's a New Yorker. But Google revealed that she does have lots of drawings of different cities, including Seattle. I think they were all done for Design*Sponge city guides, maybe. If only I could get a set of stationery with her city drawings on it! So cute! Alas, I shall keep looking.

Beehive Corner by Julia Rothman for Design*Sponge

Seattle, by Julia Rothman

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Croydon Store

We live about a mile away from Queen Street, a little street with a few really cool cafes and shops. Em and James once took me to the Red Door Cafe, which had loads of little pastries and what looked like some really tasty lamb sausage rolls. I headed up there for Saturday brunch and to read a magazine, but the Red Door Cafe was, as usual, overflowing with customers. So I crossed the road to the Croydon Store, which used to be a little mercantile type shop, but is now a cool diner.

I settled into some comfy green leather couches tucked into the vitrine and very, very much enjoyed The Energiser Bagel. It had honey, cinnamon, banana, walnuts, and cream cheese. I was proud of myself for not getting a bacon sandwich, and my tastebuds were not disappointed despite the fact that it was what could be considered somewhat healthy. I'll be back for sure.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New job!

I got a second job today! It's for a stationery company that I noticed and fell in love with almost immediately after arriving in Adelaide. I bought something from them my first week here and went back for more a week after that. Now they're hiring for Christmas temps and they wanted me! Which is great because no other retail outlet has wanted me. They don't know what they're missing. I am actually great at customer service, but I'm not sure it would change anyone's minds if I wrote at the top of my resume, "Seriously guys, I am AWESOME."

Anyway, these guys saw it, which makes me super happy cuz now I can be surrounded by beautiful stationery and organisational books all the time. It's seriously my dream come true.

On a completely separate note, isn't this agenda adorable?

kikki.k Sweet weekly diary

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Ready for summer!

What has two thumbs and is ready for summer?

This girl! I've been looking for a sun hat to protect my delicate and adorable nose for years, but there was never much pressure because I didn't live in places where the sun ever shone. Now that I live in a sunny place, a hot place, a place with a large gap in the ozone layer (thanks, Rest of the World!), and better weather approacheth, I really do need some protection. We've already had a couple days that were real scorchers by Seattle/UK standards. While my t-shirt exhibits a large wet spot under each arm, the natives are all, "Oh, is it warm out today?"

I noticed a sign in our neighborhood advertising a warehouse sale for one of the good clothing stores in town. I had no trouble finding several items to try on. In the end, I got me an airy summer dress for $20. Score!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

One year anniversary

Hugh and I celebrated our one-year dating anniversary on Thursday. I decided to try out a fun recipe I saw on Pinterest for microwaveable pancakes (originally from boy and the rabbit). I didn't have any berries, though, so it was just plain pancake batter, poured into recycled salsa jars and microwaved. Hugh was horrified and wouldn't eat it. Maybe next time I'll add two or three different types of meat, and then perhaps he'll eat it ;-) Mmm, bacon pancakes....*drool*

We drove into town to get sugar butter buns and iced coffee from the Central Market. Then we headed to Henley Beach to get haircuts from Hugh's friend's mum. What's a more appropriate anniversary activity than couples haircuts, eh? The weather was gorgeous and we were there for a while, chatting and all, so the three of us ordered lunch in the form of appetizers from Estia Greek restaurant on the beach. There was spanakopita, zucchini balls, kalamari, and some dips. It was yummers.

We dropped the car off at home and took the tram into town, where my wonderful man took me shopping, and then checked into the Hilton. We had dinner Wasai Japanese Kitchen. We've eaten there before, and it was pretty good, but last night was FANTASTIC! We ordered tempura sushi, which was good, gyoza dumplings, which are always delicious, a teriyaki mayonnaise chicken dish which was really tasty, and an eggplant thing that tasted like it had been delivered straight from heaven. I wish I had paid more attention to its description on the menu, because I really want to try to replicate it (i.e. I really want to make Hugh try to replicate it).

After that, we went to a trendy tapas y vino bar called Udaberri for cocktails and jamon. It was decorated with (probably recycled) dark timber and old leather couches. Comfy!

my breakfast martini

THEN, we went to a nightclub called the Proj3cts to see Hugh's friends DJ. It was good fun and I got to dance with my man. Then we all went to one last bar for one last drink before Hugh and I crashed into our GIANT hotel bed. Sigh....with the sedentary lifestyle I've become accustomed to, a day as packed as that really wears me out! But it was the best day ever, not least of all because I spent it all with my favorite curly-haired man, who spoils me rotten and makes me feel like a queen. I love you to bits and pieces, Handsome!