Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Ah Mrs Grendel, who would have imagined all those years ago that not only would I have dragged you all the way back to WA, but that we'd also have two boys, that you'd be a scrapbooking master (master/mistress, I can never figure this scrapping terminology out!) and that I'd have an A-grade obsession with coffee.
Now I've figured out how we got the children - and scrapbooking seems to be an inevitable consequence of kids, but where did the coffee come from. Certainly no one at the wedding said anything about the coffee and no one gave us any coffee related gifts that I can recall. Chocolate was always your preference for a, errr 'play food' (hmmm so chocolate leads to children eh?) and coffee seemed something we went out for on a daily basis while living in Subi.
Ahhhhh, Subi = cafes, children = suburbs and suburbs = no cafes. No cafes = no good coffee which results in the desire to find good coffee. When no good coffee can be found then the only thing left to do is roast your own, and ignoring the first 6-months or scorched beans and smoked out house otherwise seems to have worked out.
Which must mean that if we'd never played around with the chocolate sauce I wouldn't have discovered coffee, however the I think I tend to overate the influence of chocolate sauces on your natural sauciness so I will discount that element and present the final equation in its simplest form.
Given that our marriage and subsequent children (oh dear how conventional of us!) predated and investigative forays into paper and coffee based fascinations, it follows that the procreative act is an essential and immediate precursor to these eventualities.
Sex = Coffee
I love you Mrs Grendel – Happy Anniversary!
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Unfortunately the 8th anniversary seems a bit of an odd one.
In the ‘Traditional’ side of thing we have two items – the first is Bronze.
Oh goody – I can see the result now as I say “Congratulations my love, I thought you might like this to hang in the hallways” while handing her a half-tonne Chieftain’s Shield that I just happened to spot at Archeolomart. . .
The second traditional item is Rubber – A rubber gift would go down well.
Our experiences with rubber have not been as enjoyable as we thought they were going to be.
Now you can drag your mind out of the gutter because I am talking about our new Ikea Bed with the Latex (yes, latex is rubber) mattress. It was a wildly unsuccessful bed, but a moderately successful instrument of torture and Mrs G had to drag the whole sorry, unflatpacked load back to Ikea for a refund.
On the ‘Contemporary’ side of the gift suggestions was ‘Lace’ and unless Mrs G gets a sudden yearning for additional doilies I don’t see much future there either.
And by the way, what kind of ‘contemporary’ gift is lace? I know the information was on a website and is therefore at least potentially out of date, but lace sounds like something that Ida Buttrose would recommend as ‘modern’!
Still at a loss to find something appropriate though. . .
Saturday, 11 October 2008
This has allowed my to compile interviews with both of the Presidential candidates and both of the Vice-Presidential candidates.
They were each asked the same scrapbooking related questions, and the reuslts were somewhat unexpected.
I decided to start with the VP candidates and Gov. Sarah Palin drew the short straw.
(Unfortunately due to problems with YouTube I can only present transcripts of the interviews.)
Grendel: Governor Palin, thank you for coming I understand you’ve had a hectic week with lots of travel.
Gov. Palin: Why thank you for the invitation – I understand you’ve come all the way from Austria to interview me.
Grendel: Australia actually.
Gov. Palin: Oh yes of course – ya know, we can see Australia from Alaska on a clear day.
Grendel: Erm, really? I thought what with the curvature of the Earth and all. . .
Gov. Palin: Oh, no. On a clear day in Alaska we can see anywhere, that’s why moose huntin’ is so easy there.
Grendel: Sure, sure. Governor I’d like to ask you a few questions – I’ll be asking each of the candidates the same question and it is to help our readers understand you position on important issues like scrapbooking.
Gov. Palin: Well, Grendel, I’ll sure talk to you about scrapbooking but the answers may not be exactly answers to your questions they might be answers to ones I thought of that are better than yours.
Grendel: [under his breath] Oh this should be fun.
Gov. Palin: [obviously has sharp ears] Oh yes it will be!
Grendel: Do you scrapbook?
Gov. Palin: Oh sure, I have a huntin’ book, a fishin’ book and I have a Todd book as well as books for Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig. The Trig book is kinda small right now.
Grendel: That’s impressive! You must spend a lot of time scrapbooking.
Gov. Palin: Oh Sure, Senator McCain and I love to talk about lots of things that Joe Sixpack and the American people also love and why John McCain and I just the other day were looking at his scrapbooks and mine and talking about how together we can help this country turn the corner and scrapbook our way to a brighter future. And ya know That One doesn’t scrap, uh-uh, but I know there is pictures of him in some scrapbooks of people he’s been pallin’ around with like that domestic terrorist.
Grendel: Do you have any of your scrapbooks with you?
Gov. Palin: I always travel with my most precious scrapbook – and here it is.
Grendel: Wow, that’s a lot of photos of dead moose – is this your huntin’, er, I mean ‘Hunting’ scrapbook?
Gov. Palin: [laughs] Oh no Grendel, this is my ‘Todd’ scrapbook.
Grendel: There are a lot of photos of you and dead moose, but I can’t see any of Todd?
Gov. Palin: Well of course not – who do you think is taking the photos?
Grendel: Glad we cleared that up. Do you prefer any particular brand of paper or embellishments?
Gov. Palin: Oh I love ‘em all, but ya know I really love using the little things that people are always giving me when I travel around this great country of ours.
Grendel: Really? What kind of things?
Gov. Palin: Here [opens another scrapbook]
Grendel: Ah. They’re, urm, interesting. Where did you get given those?
Gov. Palin: Well whenever we stay in a hotel we find that people have left these little things for us to remember the visit.
Grendel: Suger sachets?
Gov. Palin: Yeah, ain’t it sweet.
Grendel: [groans quietly] Governor Palin, you’ve said you are a maverick. The origin of the term is actually from a Texan named Maverick who had quite liberal views – his descendants (also named Maverick) are quiet appalled at your use of the term.
Gov. Palin: Well I did not know that. Still they don’t own the term and being the maverick that I am I’ll keep using it and well, you know how much I hate socialists and liberals, so I just think I’ll keep on being my kinda maverick and not they’re kinda maverick and John McCain he’s a maverick too so together we can be two mavericks who can out maverick the Mavericks. Joe Sixpack he respects that – he knows how good a coupl’a mavericks are gonna be once they get there into the White House. He even told me so.
Grendel: Who told you?
Gov. Palin: Why Joe Sixpack of course.
Grendel: Really? I always thought that was just a euphemism for ‘ordinary’ American.
Gov. Palin: Oh no – he’s real, I went to High School with him in Wasilla.
Grendel: So, getting back to ‘ordinary’. You seem to be making a great appeal as an ordinary American and suggesting that that is what the country needs right now. Do you have anything special that you will bring to the Vice Presidency?
Gov. Palin: No, ordinary is what the country needs right now and with me and John McCain that is what it will get. We don’t want any elitist or exceptional people or intellectuals anywhere near the Whitehouse. And as for special – I’ll be bringing Todd – he’s kinda special, just look at how hard he worked for me when I was governor – he made phone calls to everyone trying to help out and he wasn’t even paid.
Grendel: Yes, about that. Hasn’t a committee just found that it was wrong of you to allow him to do that?
Gov. Palin: I’m sorry, but I have a moose to kill,
Grendel: Governor Palin, thank you for your time.
The epic battle for the scrapping space has been won (or lost depending on your perspective) and while I have not managed to achieve anything bar a home-theatre-government-in-exile I actually have managed to integrate elements of home theatre materiel into the lounge room thanks to a very generous donation by a good friend of some ageing Bose 501 speakers. I also managed to add to this a 30yr old Sony amplifier with the power to make those baby's boom. The "Imperial March" from Star Wars and the deep rolling tones of James Earl Jones now make it seem as if the Dark Lord of the Sith is about to demonstrate his mastery of the force right there in the room.
I have visions of him stepping through the television and looking around in horror:
"Don't be too proud of this Scrapbooking terror you have created. The ability to stick photos to paper with mere glue is insignificant next to the Power of the Dark Side"
He would then proceed to demonstrate the full mysteries of the Sith Style of scrapbooking.
I just don't see too much variety through the pages though - photos of the Dark Lord walking down the ramp of a shuttle - plenty of those of course. Photos of various planet being annihilated - spectacularly morbid, and even more so would be the photos of Uncle Owen and Aunt Veru and that little visit from the StormTroopers.
I'm sure there would have to be a "Starship Captains I have killed" page, but one agony-creased red mottled face would have to look the same as another after a while.
Worse yet, he doesn't even have copies of the ultra-sounds of Luke and Leia to memorialise.
There would be some advantages. I imagine using The Force™ to place photos might be considered overkill but imagine the precision!
Still - not exactly a lot of Happy Memories to be found on the bridge of a Star Destroyer and he doesn't exactly seem to spend much time dining with his officers and proposing loyal toasts to the Emperor around a heavily laden 'Captain's Table'.
I guess on reflection no real Dark Lord of the Sith would be into Scrapbooking.
Now a Blog on the other hand. . .
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Yesterday was ANZAC day in Australia - one of the days on which we remember the sacrifices made by Australian troops on battlefields around the world.
The date commemorates the 1915 landing on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Dardanelles with the objective to knock Turkey out of the war.
The attack lasted nine months and failed utterly due to poor planning, poor communications and poor leadership on the part of some of the senior staff.
The most successful part of the operation was the withdrawal from the peninsula with all the troops being evacuated for few losses.
Most Australians either know someone who's relatives fought in the battle or died in the battle, but for many the family photographs no longer exist, and the memories, long dead, are mixed in the mythos of the ANZAC legend.
Remembering becomes much more complex without the tangibles like photographs and diaries.
Fortunately the amount of information about the campaign and the fact that so many young Australians travel to Gallipoli each year must be proving a wealth of new material.
Remarkably, the fact that Australians invaded Turkey has not been the cause for long standing enmity between Australia and Turkey - just the opposite. There is an enduring respect that was born of that battle, probably summed up best by one of the Turkish commanders, and later President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
"Lest We Forget" has been the motto of ANZAC day since its inception, and I can't think of a more appropriate to uphold that by scrapping if not the relics of that history, then the new memories we create in commemorating it.
Friday, 11 April 2008
It it anticipated that no scrapbooking products will be manufactured after this date as all paper resources are directed to producing toilet paper.
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Yesterday our team at work had a corporate development day, the first part of which included a talk by Peter Hughes, a building contractor who was critically injured in the first Bali bombing in 2002.
It was a remarkable presentation and you really get a sense of just how much Peter’s life changed for good and ill after the bomb went off.
One of the most notable things Peter said was about the immediate response of people to the blast and how so many young Australians went straight in to help those who were injured. Peter, burned and maimed by the blast had staggered outside only to be blown back inside by the explosion of the car bomb outside the Sari nightclub. He made it back out - with 13 people in tow that they had collected as they moved out. He then went back inside the burning Paddy's Pub to bring out more injured people.
Peter reflected on the others he say helping out right after the blast and later in the hospital in Denpasar.
Peter Cosgrove later referred to the young Aussies who helped out in the immediate aftermath and for some weeks afterwards as ‘diggers without uniforms’.
Australia’s history does seem to have a strong streak of mucking in when help is needed and we seem to be at our best when the situation is at its worst.
There was another example of that yesterday when a young bloke, Brock Curtis, jumped on his surfboard and paddled out to rescue his mate who had been bitten by a shark.
Imagine going out in the water to the very place a shark has just attacked someone. That really is the most extraordinary thing, and the tragedy of his mate’s death does not lessen the enormity of the act.
A quote, sometimes attributed as an old Norwegian folk saying and at other times to George S. Patton goes; “Courage is fear hanging on one minute longer”. Regardless of the origin, the truth of the statement is evident. Most people who are heroes are heroes because they transcend their fears for the brief time required to do what needs to be done.
I don’t think the fear is gone – and I imagine that the later nightmares that many people have after such an event are reflections of the enormity of that fear, but the fact that a person can push through the natural desire for self preservation is remarkable.
I don’t know that Aussies have this capacity more than other people, I hope we do as it makes up for some of our other national flaws. I do know that we see it more often when the need is greatest, just as we see greater community strength and charity when times are toughest.
I wonder sometimes whether the very fact of our current affluence has led us to complacency and isolation and whether if we had to struggle together a little more we might be more successful as people.
It seems that the true spirit of Australia was born in adversity and is renewed in adversity - may we never become afraid of a little adversity.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Mrs Grendel has headed out to the Wheatbelt to teach scrapbooking classes to the women of the west, errrr east, but only the eastern part of the west really.
Here at home the male members of Grendel's Lair have lived it up by eating toast and drinking hot chocolates with marshmallows - except we ran out of marshmallows, some planning gone awry there I think.
Currently Junior Grendel Number One is sound asleep in the parental bed, having dropped off about 3 minutes after I pressed play on a DVD of Star Trek.
Unfortunately Junior Grendel Number Two is still wide awake, in the bed beside big brother and asking tricky questions like "what is holding it up?" about a space station.
My attempt to explain microgravity has been met with a certain level of scepticism and thus I have departed hoping that in the time it takes me to write this post he may have forgotten his Newtonian queries and dropped off to sleep.
UPDATE: No, not asleep and is now asking about the relativistic space/time distortion effects of wormhole transit while at warp 4.2
Long night ahead.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Junior Grendel Number One has been practising wearing his robes for his role as a jeering bystander in the Passion play at school and Junior Grendel Number Two , while welcoming the coming of the great bunny, is also facing the fact that the bunny is not only coming to deliver chocolate eggs, but also to take away dummies.
Our boys love their chocolate eggs, and we ration their take over a period of some months. I too love chocolate, I love that warm silky sweetness as it melts down your throat and the endorphin rush that hits soon after.
I'm sorry for what follows in this post - we should all be sorry for what follows in this post.
Tim Costello of World Vision has been off in Africa checking out the cocoa farming regions, and the news was not good.
Apparently human trafficking and slavery are alive and well and living in the cocoa plantations. The Rev. Costello visited Ghana and the Ivory Coast and estimate that over half a million children now work in the cocoa fields in conditions that at their best are exploitative and at their worst are outright slavery. 50% don't get formal education and most are involved in hazardous work - it is these children that are providing the majority of the cocoa we will consume this Easter.
70% 0f the world's cocoa comes from West Africa so their is an excellent chance that the egg you bite into on Easter morning will originate from cocoa harvested by a child slave. In the worst cases this child will have been forced to work 80-100 hours a week.
I'm sorry if that puts anyone off their elegant rabbit or giant egg, but the cheaper the chocolate for us to buy, the cheaper the price paid to the farmer and their labourers. International buying cartels force down the prices of cocoa and seek volume supplies. Sound familiar? Just like coffee - volume means poor quality. We need to be encouraging lower production of higher quality cocoa, and pay a fair price for it.
I know that World Vision are supporting the Fair Trade approach to cocoa, and in this case I think it is the best option. Unlike coffee, the production of chocolate is more specialised and the situation of the workers and the farmers even more dire than in the coffee world.
Interestingly World Vision are not calling for a boycott of the big chocolate companies - that would hurt the farmers further. However they are suggesting that when you can vote with your wallet and buy fair trade products when you can.
I'd encourage you to go and read further - this is an issue that won't go away and if you love chocolate then you owe it to yourself to at least KNOW the facts. More than this you owe it to those who labour to bring this treat to you, yet never get to try it themselves.
If you want to buy fair trade chocolate and Easter eggs then look for Scarborough Fair Fairtrade certified Easter Eggs which are available in some Coles and Target stores.
Check out the World Vision site for more information: What is the real cost of chocolate?
And here is a list of ethical chocolate available in Australia - hopefully it is good quality chocolate as well:
Alter Eco – Fairtrade
Dark Velvet (Organic)
Dark Velvet with Peppermint
Cacao Power – Organic and *Fairtrade (*certification imminent)
Crushed pure chocolate
Chocolatier Australia – Fairtrade
Chocolate Thins – Dark and Milk
Cocolo - Fairtrade
Cocoa Farm Chocolate (Australian Grown Cocoa)
Mango, Lime and Chilli
Coffee and Hazelnut
Endangered Species - Fairtrade
Green & Black’s – Fairtrade
Maya Gold Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
Organic Hot Chocolate
Oxfam - Fairtrade
Milk with nuts
Scarborough Fair - Fairtrade
Oh, and this is the ONLY time you'll ever hear me advising you to go to Starbucks!
Starbucks - Fairtrade Chocolate
Sunday, 16 March 2008
I reckon if ever there was a scrapbooking business waiting to happen it is awards ceremonies.
Scrappers could hang around, seagull like, as award recipients come down from the dais and hit them at their most vulnerable:
"Scrap this exciting day? Keep the memories for ever! only the best cardstock - acid and lignin free. . ."
Monday, 10 March 2008
I wondered if she'd run out of paper, but no, there on the shelf is the usual rainbow of cardstock - this was graffiti, pure and simple.
I suppose I should have expected it - but I am concerned that the next logical step once she runs out of immovable objects to scrapbook will be to scrapbook some of the, err 'movable' one. That includes the cats (although I'm pretty much ok with that concept) the two junior Grendels, and Me.
Let me make myself clear.
Not at all, never.
I am certain that because of the impermanent nature of any paper friend adhesive when applied to the human body that any scrapbooking of my flesh would involve tattoos. Worse still is the though of how I may be embellished - titanium brads or somesuch I suppose.
Can I just state for the record that I am not acid-free and that I intend to commence lignin eating immediately.
Of course I could get my own back by hiring the painter from this cafe to come and apply a brush to our wall so that I can have my own copy of the formula for caffeine on the wall - my very own graffiti!
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
I note that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (more conveniently called 'Mormons') are very, very fond of Genealogy.
They certainly have extensive databases dedicated to collecting and recording family details. Thus it should be no surprise at all that they also feature heavily in the scrapping world.
In fact the Mormon Church seems ready made for scrapbooking with large families, acceptance of technology (Amish scrapping must be hard!) and a disavowal of alcohol and other intoxicants that might otherwise provide some distraction to the busy life of a Mormon Saint.
I have one question here - at EVERY scrapbooking event I have heard of or seen, the scrappers consume more coffee and tea than an army battalion on winter manoeuvres - and yet, the Mormons don't.
How do they do it?
Does it influence the scrapping style?
Are the allowed to scrapbook the visit to the Temple in Utah?
Even the secret bits?
At this point I had an overwhelming desire to add a joke about how Mrs Grendel NEVER scrapbooks my secret bits - but I was good and didn't.
Or did I?
Monday, 3 March 2008
They've all done it. Mrs Grendel once did a whole layout using them, and I know she's not alone. I'm talking about circles - specifically photos cut into circles.
Once or twice is probably not a problem, but too much more often than that and it may be indication that your scrapbooker is a member of the Great Circle Cult.
This a is a radical group of scrapbookers that believe that the circle is the most sacred form and that a layout acquires mystical powers proportional to the number of circle photos on the single page.
They're a pretty secretive lot and all I've managed to uncover so far is that they exist and may be a threat to right-angle loving guys everywhere.
Be aware, be alert and when they bring out that cutter that looks like a paddle from an air hockey table, then be afraid.
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Monday, 25 February 2008
It lies south of the state and punishes us.
Its so-called ‘moderate to fresh E/NE winds’
Are in reality, a form of climatic torture.
The central and southern parts of the state,
Can expect flies and heat with little relief in the evenings
Whoever said the desert gets cold at night was wrong
For it never gets cold in February here.
Expect fine conditions for this region,
Fine that is if you like the heat and dust.
Fine is a poor word for the weather,
‘Clear’ might seem more accurate to most.
They reckon isolated showers or drizzle,
That’ll be the patchy stuff down south.
Near and east of Israelite Bay, clearing by noon.
Sucks to be them – humid AND hot.
‘High over the bight” how I loathe thee,
Where is our tropical low that brings relief?
Or those sweeping low pressure ridges,
Which bring us the rain?
Summer ends this week,
So we are told by calendars.
I bet that bloody high ignores,
The dictates of the Gregorian.
37, 37, 38 too hot,
The words evaporate.
Sticky keys and apathy
How the high makes you feel so slow.
Jnr Grendel Number One was born this morning 6 years ago. I'm very proud of him.
This is him asleep this morning on his birthday - the unflattering big graze and bruise on his face are testiment to his efforts at the party yesterday where he managed to smack face down into the limestone wall at the park.
Junior Grendel Number One has Autism - and while a lot of people don't really notice (he interacts with adults fairly well), as his Dad I do have a few sad moments where I see him really want to join in, but not quite understanding how.
He's loving school though - and his play times with Junior Grendel Number Two go for hours.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Until recently, much of Mrs Grendel's scrapping was done in the family room - on the big farmhouse table or the bench in the kitchen. It was always collecting lumps of glue and flecks of paint and the scrapping gear seemed to cover every horizontal surface.
This was because scrapbooking requires vast tracts of real estate within the house, much more so than other hobbies. I am permitted a small area of bench within the house for my coffee things, and even then it is shared with the toaster and electric kettle.
The scrapbooking studio recently acquired a large bench in the middle of the room, but even this cannot seem to contain all the items required for a single layout.
I did some quick calculations and determined that in the case of Mrs Grendel, scrapbooking has demonstrated that Einstein was wrong in some of his assumptions about the Universe and it appears that I have found some proof to support Dr Stephen Hawking's position.
You see, the area required for scrapbooking should bear some relationship to the mass of scrapbooking materials within the immediate area.
It doesn't - in fact the imbalance between volume and mass is astoundingly vast.
In fact I have found that the volume of realspace within a given area in relation to the mass of scrapbooking objects seems to decrease as mass increases. This is somewhat not what would be expected if the normal laws of physics were to be applied.
The only explanation for this is that much (if not most) of the materials used for layouts must exist outside of the space-time dimension with which we are most familiar. As the mass of scrapping materials in a region of realspace increases to a point of criticality, the usual laws of physics are suspended and the materials slip into another reality. In other words, we now have proof of the existence of a Scrapbooking substrata of reality.
This of course will be of no real surpise to scrapbook widowers the world over who must have long suspected that something was not quite right about scrapbooking.
The implications of the existance of a space/time substrata are truly incredible - One might never actually know how much cardstock one has on hand, or where that pair of scissors really went (See! I didn’t take them after all, they've just drifted off in hyperspace!).
The danger for the scrapbook widower should be obvious - once our scrappers figure this out they'll realise that we have no real way of figuring out what they have purchased because we can't peer into the extra dimensional storage area to do a stock take.
Unfortunately neither can our scrappers, so they just keep shopping, which exacerbates the problem because as the mass of scrapping matter increases, the extra dimensional storage space increases exponentially.
There is a risk that the very fabric of the universe could be irreparably damaged.
Scrapping must stop!
I fear for the universe.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Often these magazines, as well as having photos of other people's layouts, will also have a sample of paper in them as well.
It has a fold in the middle, and is not 12 by 12 inches, and yet the layouts pictured show the layout ON A 12 BY 12 INCH SHEET OF THE SAME PAPER!
So why bother putting in an undersized piece at all?
I can't remember Mrs Grendel ever using the stuff from the magazine and I suspect the same may be true for other scrappers.
I reckon there may be a whole industry waiting out there for someone to collect all these odd sized pieces and turn them into origami spacecraft.
Monday, 18 February 2008
It's kind of nice to know one's efforts are not ignored.
I love the quote from one of the other Scrapbook Widowers out there:
His solution for how expensive it all is? "Make a lot of money," he advises husbands. "Scrapbooking will still be stupidly expensive but you won't notice as much. How to make 'a lot of money'? Hey, don't expect me to solve ALL your problems."
Saturday, 16 February 2008
After last weeks blogging effort I almost have to - I suggested that a scrapbooking novel might be an idea, and lo, there are several.
I predicted that scrapbooking paper would make a good spacecraft, and the Japanese are rolling out (or is that unfolding?) their plans for origami space flight.
Currently I have a better record that most the crackpot self-designated prophets who made big calls about the millennium that we are still waiting on for a result.
SO - prediction time, and in the tradition of newspaper horoscopes I shall make my predictions vague and generally applicable so that I can guarantee success.
- Australian scrapbooking will continue in 2008 with steady sales of digital cameras and photo paper driving ever more people into photo preservation. Growth will be slower than previous years.
- Lurid 1960's prints will continue to annoy Mrs Grendel who has only boy children to scrapbook.
- I'll be sent in disgrace from the studio on at least one occasion for some as-yet undetermined infraction of the sacred scrapping space.
- Mrs Grendel will obtain at least one new cutting implement in the next 12 months
- The junior Grendels will refuse to pose for photos at some crucially cute moment.
- Digital scrapbooking will not become dominant over paper scrapbooking although there may be a new digital photo frame designed for scrapbook display released.
That's all for now!
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
No, saying sorry doesn't solve the problems but it is a damn fine starting point. We might not have caused the problems but we do have to fix them.
For those overseas who read this - and don't understand, today Australia's Prime Minister has just apologised to Aboriginal Australians for the policies of past Australian governments that caused a lot of pain. The apology itself might seem hollow given the state of indigenous Australia at present, but many have seen it as a necessary step.
The tears pouring down the faces of some of the elderly Aboriginal people in crowds around Australia give the lie to the previous government's claim that saying "sorry" didn't mean anything.
It did to those people.
Now there is work to get on with.
Monday, 11 February 2008
It seems that I was not really very far off the mark.
In today's Melbourne age there is a story about paper space planes.
OK - my remarks may have been in jest, but seriously, am I good or what?!?
A spacecraft made of folded paper zooming through the skies may sound far-fetched, but Japanese scientists plan to launch paper planes from the International Space Station to see if they make it back to Earth.
Earlier this week, the University of Tokyo researchers tested small, origami planes made of special paper for 30 seconds in 250 degrees Celsius heat and wind at seven times the speed of sound. The planes survived the wind tunnel test intact.
The theory is that paper craft, being much lighter than space shuttles, may escape the worst of the friction and heat that much heavier space shuttles face on re-entry to the atmosphere.
"Paper planes are extremely light so they slow down when the air is thin and can gradually descend," said Shinji Suzuki, a professor of aerospace engineering.
Suzuki said the technology might one day be used for unmanned spacecraft.
Sometimes my psychic abilities scare even me!
While watching 'Wallace and Gromit - a Big Day Out' with the junior grendels on the weekend I saw the evidence that for nearly two decades scrapbookers have been infiltrating their message into the media and subversively making scrapbooking converts.
This goes some way to explaining the popularity of scrapbooking today.
It was weird - almost as if everything around me slowed down as I watched Wallace raise the camera, snap a shot and utter the fateful words - "One for the album eh boy?"
I am certain it was not a photo album he was referring to!
Wallace is the scrapbooking type - just look at his wallpaper, he obviously has a penchant for colourful paper products, and as an inventer he'd obviously want to keep a good record of all his acitivities.
This of course makes Gromit one of us - one of those who lives with a scrapper, but does not scrap himself.
Gromit is one of the Brotherhood and you can see by the way he (frequently) rolls his eyes that he too suffers along with us.
I do however harbour a suspicion that Gromit may be a secret scrapper, a character carefully placed so that in due time his habit shall be revealed as a goad to the rest of humanity who have not yet taken up the paper craft.
Sunday, 10 February 2008
I've decided that when I pull out the roaster I'll choose a bag of beans and roast all the beans in that bag - at most this means four batches as I can roast enough in each batch to dispose of 2.5 kilos of beans in four runs.
Today it was a veracruz organic coffee from Mexico:
I don't really need to make these labels, but I do like to mark what coffee it is and when it was roasted so the labels might as well look good at the same time.
Meanwhile Mrs Grendel is going to have a scrapbooking garage sale - I am not even going to ask where any money is going to go from what she sells because I can already guess!
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Being a packrat is great - you can always find that whosiwidget to fix the whatsitzimmer or that old copy of your high school yearbook.
I've even got copies of my father's high school year book - and copies of my grandfather's Royal Geographic Society magazines from the 1930's.
Some things keep pretty well for a long period of time, others actually gain value, but most things just seem to slowly decay or get eaten by something - the slow biodegradation of history at work locally.
Mrs Grendel's packrat tendencies carry over to scrapbooking and from time to time she gets a scrapping 'thing' that is 'just too good to use on a layout'. It gets put aside, a valued scrapping treasure that she likes to admire and imagine a creative use for.
On occasion an opportunity to use the 'thing' on a layout presents itself and it gets brought out and placed for all time upon a page.
Except when it crumbles and falls right off.
Are scrapping things supposed to do that?
The items in question are rub-ons and Mrs Grendel has a collection of some really cool ones - to cool to use on photos of me, so they get saved for more important things, except that now in some cases they get saved too long.
I thought this was supposed to be an archival thing? what's with the crumbly bits? Ok, truth be told they seem to stay on once stuck on, but if you leave them too long in the packet then apparently all they are good for is looking at in the packet.
I recently placed a moratorium on buying more green coffee beans until I can roast up my current 40 kilos or so - I reckon Mrs Grendel needs to use all her stuff too!
Perhaps I can squeeze just a little movie screen into the room. . .
Friday, 8 February 2008
Already he is showing signs of great things to come.
The teacher has placed dots on the floor and told all the children that these dots mark where you go to sit down for story time.
When story time arrived and the kids all headed to their dots, Junior Grendel Number Two duly arrived - with a chair, which he placed right over his floor dot. I can't imagine how the teacher explained the concept of sitting on the floor to him.
He's always been a big fan of comfort.
Perhaps a srapping spy novel with microdots concealed beneath the seemingly innocent pages depicting a childhood holiday?
Scrapping Sci Fi?
Fantasy - Elven scrappers (they use oak leaves) or dwarves (slate - what else!), Orcs (carve it into other orcs or hapless humans they manage to catch).
Mills and Boon must surely have spotted the open field of eager readers.
And of course - a western is a must "Scrappers of the Rio Grande" perhaps. . .
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Following the abortive attempt to aircondition the Scrapbooking Studio (formerly known as the future site of the Home Theatre), we have been subsisting with a pedestal fan as the only cooling method.
I imagine most scrapbookers can immediately see the flaw in using this method when you are engaged in stick small pieces of paper to bigger pieces of paper. It is like working in a confetti test chamber, except that the confetti is of an almost lethal size. I still bear the mark from an encounter with a rogue sheet of pastel patterned cardstock that displayed aerodynamic qualities that should be of interest to NASA.
Ok, perhaps it is not quite that bad, but I still can't figure out how you are supposed to carry out a hobby when all the components are starting to look like props from Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory.
Surely the melting point of scrapping glue can't be so high as to keep stuff stuck to other stuff? Given the current heat wave over here in Perth NASA may as well send a permanent research team because if they are having trouble keeping tiles stuck to shuttles during re-entry then I think we might have a glue for them.
I can already see the new generation of shuttle - a harlequinised, cardstock coated (and highly aerodynamic) form, plastered with vellum-mounted photos of the astronaut's kids and held together with acid free glue.
Hey, acid free glue - does that mean no more Major Tom?