Sunday, August 27, 2006

Best Banana Cake Ever

It has been a weekend of activity at wrecker central. Mr Accordian has bought a new instrument called Hammond and has been filling the air with melodious meanderings and I have been going silly in the garden and kitchen. So today I am publishing a coupla wrecker recipes.

BecNana Cake
Don't you hate it when you walk into a room and someone has a bigger banana than you? This happened to me, believe it or not, when I had a recent banana harvest and then saw some other cheatin bananas on steroids at the Ekka. How demoralising.
Left with a heap of small manky looking bananas getting riper by the day, I knew I had to take some action.

You will need about 10 finger-sized drought dumps (bananas) or 2 normal ones or one banana on performance enhancers.
1. Peel the nanas and cut out the bad bits. Let the wrecking begin- you may choose to use a fork for the smashing.
2. Put 125g butter (not margarine for heavens sake) and 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar (the one with a hint of molasses is best) in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
3. Add 2 eggs, one at a time beating in until mixture goes mousse-like.
4. Add the smashed bananas.
5. Add 1 & 3/4 cups - 2 cups of self raising flour.
6. Mix lightly with a slosh of milk until combined.
7. Add a handful of chopped walnuts. You could also add pecans or dates.
8. Bake in a cake tin in a moderate oven- 160degrees c. for 1/2 - 3/4 hour until golden brown on top and cooked in the middle.

Melodius Meandering Mulberry CordialMy lovely friend, Tipi-Laura gave me a little mulberry bush years ago and it is now a colossus.
Thanks Laura.
Normally the fruit bats get most of the harvest and spray our house and car in purple poo. Making me glad we chose to paint the house in 'mulberry desire' anyway and that Mr Accordian bought a car in the same colour.
I don't really like to eat mulberries on their own because of the stalk but have made sorbet with them and now cordial, inspired by the Cascade Rasberry Cordial (yeah okay it's red cordial) we are addicted to.
You will need a bowl of fresh picked mulberries.
1. Wash the berries and put them in a saucepan and cover them with water.
2. Add a cup or so of fine white sugar and peel of half an organic lemon - use a vege peeler.
3. Simmer for one hour mashing the berries every so often.
4. Strain and cool. Pour into a bottle and refrigerate.

Drink with soda water, ice and garnish with mint for a cool summer drink. Add gin or vodka to taste... Arrange your extra mulberries in a Shannon Garson native violet dish and take in Mr Accordian's melodious meanderings.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Window of Wonders

Today Liana and I installed our joint window at Craft Queensland to officially mark the launch of our websites tomorrow.
We each made some fabulous new jewellery for it- I have created louvreite swingers and shard necklaces, pendants and earrings using sea green, blue and clear tumbled glass from Bombay Sapphire bottles, louvres and heritage window glass. It is all for sale of course!

Go to my website 24 August 2006 to enter my competition and join us at Craft QLD 24 Aug from 6pm for the opening of the Pathways exhibition.

Also, I am speaking on Friday at CQ for Meet the Makers with Sharon Muir, Liana Kabel and Taryn and Elise Eales.
- everyone is welcome. I must say I'm not much of a performance artist, so I'm hoping that the others hog the limelight!
Date: 25 August 2006
Time: 10am – 12noon
Where: CQstore, Craft Queensland 381 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley Q 4006 T 07 3215 0808 F 07 3215 0802
CQgallery and CQstore hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Glen Rocks 2: Interior/exterior

Some more photo arranging here. Ironbarks and Glen Rock and kangaroo grass and through old screened hopper windows looking out onto a close cropped yard. Thanks Wayne Kington for the photos.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Glen Rocks

I visted Glen Rock on the weekend, out on Main Range. Mr Accordian took these snaps.

It was thirsty country: cattle in the dry creek bed where once were platypus, brushboxes wilted on the rocky slopes. A series of farmhouses built at maybe 50+ year intervals were in a ridge line looking over the valley. The first was a old slab hut with a single room and handcut timber built a rather long time ago. The 2nd was an old timber Queenslander maybe 70-80yrs old. The final was the classic 1970's yellow brick 2 storey. Some of the lurid internal wallpaper and carpets in the 2 most recent houses seemed to relate to the stark environment in a strange way.
The hardy silver-leafed ironbark (top right) grew in stunted colonies up the sides of the Madder Horn, which we climbed at a leisurely canyonero assisted pace. The Madder Horn, spelt that way on the map, must have earned it's name from the cows mad enough to walk to the top. But it was well worth it for us view lovin humans.

RebEKKA 2: Banana Envy

I was a bit offended at the 6ft mega bunches of bananas seen at the Ekka this year. Just what are they feeding these plants? And where is the water coming from? Mine have never been the same since we fixed the plumbing. And then I missed most of our meagre winter harvest of drought bananas. As you can see, the bats and the possums took their cut.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

RebEKKA 1: An old friend

Miss Windbag, Miss PlasticGirl and I are doing a bit of an Ekka long weekend for the next few days. I'd beter kick it off as I have to go to the mountains for a couple of days to recover.

At this years' Ekka, my first in many years, I bumped into and old friend, General Cheeso. I recognised him immediately. We first met in Dubrovnik on my grand European tour. Mr Accordian and I were travelling on a shoestring and being unable to afford to eat lunch in a cafe, we had humble tomato and cheese and biscuit fare in the daggy ditch outside the old town walls. I was rather grumpy about the whole non-gourmet lunch deal and also extremely hungry after plodding all the way from our supposedly 'walking distance from the old town sobe' to the old town and all around it a few times gazing in wonderment. In my haste to make the lunch, I dropped a big slab of Pag cheese on the ground. Along came General Cheeso and a mad chase ensued. Anyway Cheeso won of course and the whole incident enabled me to ditch the bad mood for the day.
General Cheeso had a great knack of popping up wherever we were afterwards to check on my hormone bitch levels. It was sad to see him in a cage at the Ekka but at least he had plenty of braised steak and onions to munch on. See Pigeon Post for uptodate news from the world of Cheeso.

Non-human Drongo

The jasmine's a-blooming and I saw my first non-human drongo today which means that it must well and truly be spring. Being a drongo, it's probably migrating in the opposite direction to more conventional birds. Like from a Melbourne winter to a Darwin summer or something equally as stupid. It was sitting on the wire above the roadside -tho they also love hanging about in the she-oaks with Langley Longlegs- and I was reminded that words such as drongo (meaning idiot, not to be confused with Galah) will soon be banned from Parliament. Now parliamentary debate is one of the few examples where drongo is still used on a daily basis, mostly to refer to the opposite member. So it will be up to all little aussie battlers to keep such words alive in sentences like, “How many of you drongos voted for John Howard?” But it will be tough competition with new words coming into the lexicon all the time, inspired by our loathsome pollies.

For example, ‘Beasley’ and ‘Ruddock’ have become common curse words in my household and are also used to describe those stinkier bodily functions one has from time to time. In a sentence: “Don’t go in there, I just dropped a Ruddock”.

Which leaves the poor drongo where exactly? Up the dunny without a paddle I suppose. Back to the flower arranging now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nana Mouse

Yippee I finally finished my Nana Nana Nana work and handed it in last week. I was so relieved to be taking a break from vinyl fumes, I forgot to photograph some of the final pieces but here are some Nana Glasses and Nana's Nana Beads made from same The Delightful Nana Mouskouri record that has been causing all sorts of problems at MoB Workspace.
Tex, the large ginger from next door was very unhelpful though entertaining during the ordeal. He is pictured reclining on top of the sharp brass wire pins I was preparing for the 50 brooches.
The stuff on my cat website has got it all wrong in forcing cats to have stuff put on them. What is it with cats that they always have to sit on what you are making, reading, paying attention to? If televisions were a horizontal surface, I'm sorry to say that our cat would be permanently attached to it.

I wonder if Nana Mousekouri likes cats. Maybe she prefers mice.

Looking forward to hitting the bottle again now:

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tales from the Accordian

Do you have an old accordion sitting in the corner of your house? Perchance inherited from a whiskery old uncle or grandpa? Accordians can sit around quietly for many years soaking up the secrets, the tales and the myths of suburbia in their papery folds. Then, one day they get their own blog and it all starts coming out the bellows.
If only I could say that the accordion in my house were so well behaved. Sometimes it really earns its nickname, The Annoydian. Though I have to admit, the annoydian and its human appendage are my 2 favourite things. And no, Liana, you cannot cut up the plastic pearlescent keys.

Visit The Urban Myths: Tales from the Accordian for tales that will tickle your fancy.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Duelling Jewellers

Okay, I must say that last week at MoB Workspace, Miss Liana aka Plastic Girl and we had a most dreadfully horrible thing happen to us both. I finally feel like I'm ready to talk about it.

At all started on a bright sunny morning in the studio when we eagerly pounced on the city newspaper, hoping that our press release promoting our web launch would have had some sort of an effect. Well, there was jewellery news alright. Indeedee doo- an article entitled "Handcrafted with brains and beauty" all about a certain Rebecca (Mitchell) but no mention of our own fabulous selves! OUTrageous. The fact that she is a former international model and certainly makes a pretty picture really got our female danders up.
After all, neither of us are strangers to the arts of female beauty and poise: Liana was once the belly dancing champion of Australia (or the universe) and I did 2 years hard graft at the Joh Bijelke-Peterson School of Physical Culture (Queensland's answer to Hitler Youth- involved alot of marching, shining faces and hair scraped back in bouffant buns, what were my parents thinking?).
But what really was so terribly hurtful were Rebecca-former-international-model-mother-of-2's words: "our collection employs only natural products - never glass or plastic - in its creation." Now, I could say that using gemstone beads sourced from "exotic locations in Turkey, Asia and the Middle East and the vast islands of the Pacific" does not maketh a personally handcrafted piece of jewellery and that until you diamond drill through hundreds of beach pebbles, thousands of pieces of tumbled glass and melt and shape millions of bits of plastic, you don't really know the meaning of the term 'handcrafted', but no, I won't say that. Because that would be petty.
So I spent the weekend in the kitchen fuming in the fumes, melting my way through a stack of vinyl records and milk bottle tops on my new Art Wrecko jewellery inspired by Nana Mouskouri for Flash Trash. Sneak peek:Info about our web launch:

Web Launch: Museum of Brisbane Jewellers Now Online
Venue: Craft Queensland
Dates: Thursday 24 August – Wednesday 20 September 2006 inclusive

Contemporary jewellers Liana Kabel and Rebecca Ward of Museum of Brisbane Workspace have combined forces to launch their websites in 2006. and are the dynamic portals to two very different and creative worlds. A new body of work from each jeweller will be on view at CQ Store window to highlight the occasion.

Competitions to win original jewellery will be launched from and starting 24 August

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nana Challenge

Can you spot the Impostor Nana in the 51 Nana Mouskouris (click image to enlarge)? Well there is it least one imposter in this collaged google image search.
My top secret Flash Trash work made from old vinyl records centres around the fact that 2007 will be the 50th anniversary of Nana Mouskouri's professional career. 50 years and she's never converted to contact lenses or a side parting. You've gotta admire that. Harry Belafonte tired to bully her in the '60s not to wear glasses on stage but she dug her clunky heels in. She made glasses cool. Geeky before her time, she paved the way for all of us short sighted dorks.
She was my first role model as I have said before and although my first glasses at age 14 were heavily influenced by my John Lennon period, the second pair were pure Nana. The sales assistant informed me at the time that they would remain in fashion for at least 18mths. This surprised me as I was unaware that they were currently in fashion and I intended to wear them for at least 10 years like my previous frames! Unfortunately though, the huge weight of the large glass lenses and the onset of a permanent headache meant that my 3rd and current pair are rather more conservative. However, innovations in lightweight plastic lenses may mean that my fourth pair, to be chosen very shortly due to more to vanity than failing eyesight, may well go back to my Nana roots.
You can be assured that I will never, never succumb to contact lenses, which are surely the work of the devil and not to be trusted by us neo-luddites.

Fresh is best.... naturally

Is it just me, or is the current marketing campaign for the Ekka (Brisbane's Royal National Agricultural Show) just a little bit too fresh? Well, an agricultural show, where the country comes to town is all about the slaughtering of innocent beasties for our groaning tables but does this take it too far for our squeamish city tastes? As a lapsed vegetarian, I know all too well the propaganda about what happens to the little critters in the petting zoos after they get a bit tattered around the edges from all the love of our overenthusiastic kiddies. So it is heartening to know that the Ekka promises us lots of fresh animals this year.

An investigation is clearly in order when RebEKKA-the-Wrecker, Miss Windbag and Miss Plastic Girl visit the Ekka next week on a craft/cultural field trip into the unknown followed by a flurry of blogging unheard of since Geek Week. And just what is a Dolphin Derby?