Friday, 30 January 2009

Pink scarflette

I never blogged about this did I?

This was a quick little knit that I whipped up for a dear friend for Christmas.

Since it was meant to be a surprise, it had to be a stealth job. But she's received the present now, so it's time for all to be revealed!

Real fun, real quick knit.

I have the same yarn, but in orange. I want to make one for myself. I've even bought extra black buttons already! I love those buttons. They're really plan and simple, but it just looks gorgeous to me.

I'm beginning to fall in love more with scarflettes nowadays. They don't have the extra peripherals that scarves have, that may cause your scarf to soak up your soup or dinner.

Pattern here.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Art attack - photo play

This art attack from X facta actually had a deadline, which explains why I got my act together so quickly.

We were meant to choose a photo and alter it, and since I'm not so much a print and canvas kind of girl, I decided to go with the good old fashioned Photoshop way.

This photo was taken late last year, when we took D's brand new (to him, it was a second hand Ebay steal) catamaran on her maiden voyage. This was just after we finally set her up, ready to sail.



Added a red tinge because I always think there's something magical about a red sky. Also gave the photo a kind of grainy wash so that it looked like an old photo, but the effect may not be picked up because the photo on the site is too small. But trust me, it's there, and it's cool.

And also gave us a bit of a highlight so that we won't hidden in the shadows too much.

A simple alteration I suppose, but I had fun nonetheless. I wish I could spend all day digitally altering photos...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


The Australian Open has been happening in Australia for the last few weeks.

Watched a very exciting match between Jelena Dokic and Dinara Safina last night.

But if there is one thing I don't understand about tennis, it is the scoring system.

Follow my logic for a moment:

When you win the first game, you score 15.

When you win the second, your score increases to 30.

(That kind of makes sense, since it's an increase in multiples of 15.)

But when you win the third, your score then increases to 40. (What happened to the multiples of 15?)

And finally, when you win the fourth, your score becomes 45.

(Now it utterly and completely does not make sense. How does a score increase by 15 twice, then 10, then 5? And why?)

Isn't it better to simply score 1, 2, 3 and then 4?

I don't understand.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Ash & raisin

After the long and tedious task of knitting with fingering weight yarn, I needed some instant gratification.

This cowl/beanie certainly fit in the category, and I ended up not only with one item, but two!

And the yarn, oh my goodness, the softness and warmth and cosiness of the yarn...not particularly suitable for wearing right now since we're getting like 40 degrees heat lately, but come winter, I know I'm going to be real snug.

I initially was going to knit this for a friend, but even though I like it, the funnel/chimney thing at the top of the beanie may make it a little weird/funky for some. So I'm keeping it for myself.

Pattern here.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Stick to a reward program

D and I love drinking from Boost Juice.

Unfortunately, after the kerfuffle involving their reward programs, I'm not sure if we'll be visiting again any time soon.

The management of Boost Juice just cannot seem to be able to decide on the reward program that they want, and constantly change it, much to the chagrin of their customers.

Reward program 1

A simple cardboard card and stamp system. You buy one drink, you get a stamp on the card. When you get ten stamps, you get a free drink.

That worked well until one day, without seemingly any forewarning, they moved on to Reward program 2.

This pretty much meant that any stamps that you might have accumulated prior to the move was null and void. Tough if you had nine stamps and was waiting for that one stamp to qualify for a free drink.

Boost Juice has moved on.

Reward program 2

A little key ring sized card that you show whenever you purchase a drink and you immediately get a 10% discount.

This worked well for a few months until suddenly, Boost Juice decided to move on yet again.

Suddenly customers are left hanging on to their now useless key ring decoration, and instead given a cardboard card that looked remarkably like that in Reward program 1, and worked suspiciously like it too.

Oh wait, the reward program has indeed changed back to the old buy one drink, get one stamp, collect 10 stamps, get a free drink system.


And then on Monday, D and I were at Boost Juice again. As D was about to pay for the drink, he hands over his card, that already has eight stamps, thinking that he was two drinks closer to a free drink.

Surprise surprise.

Reward program 3 or is it 4, considering, there was a 3, but it just looked like 1.

The cashier explained, quite patiently and nicely, that Boost Juice has changed reward programs and no longer accept the cards. Instead, "here's a new plastic card that gives you so much more benefits".

I'm not sure what the benefits were, I tuned out by then.

She also very briskly made the cardboard card disappear (no, it wasn't returned to us, not even as a keepsake). It was as if she wanted to make sure the previous reward program never existed.

D looks at cashier with tears in his eyes, exclaiming, "Nooooooooooo! My free drink!!!!!!!"

Ok, he didn't do that, that was just for dramatic purposes. But I'm sure he thought it. I did.

So now, Boost Juice has moved on again. Frustrated by the fact that Boost Juice just cannot seem to make up their minds, D writes them:
Hi there,

I've been enjoying Boost juices and smoothies for a number of years now but have a little gripe with my visit to the Hornsby store today.

I'm not sure when I last got a Boost juice - possibly in November 2008, but I don't recall seeing any signs warning of the discontinuation of the Frequent stamp card, so it was a bit of a surprise when I presented my card today I was informed that the Frequent stamp card had been discontinued - the program where after each juice you buy you get a stamp on a little circular card, and then after 10 stamps you get a free juice.

The sales assistant explained it well, saying that a new program was starting and gave me the plastic eftpos type card, and gave me a discount of 45c on the original sized Janine's Favourite from $5.75 to $5.30 - however, I had 8 stamps in my card, and as I had not seen any warnings about the closing of this program, I was a little disappointed as in my mind I was 8/10ths of the way to a free juice, not a mere 8% discount. Anyhow - that's just my gripe of the day.

To their credit, a reply came rather quickly:
Thanks for your email.

We launched a new VIBE hard card on the 5th of November 2008, with the same benefits as the stamp card (buy 10 and get the 11th free). Customers were given until the 31st of December 2008 to use their stamp cards and this was communicated via flyers in-store, emails sent out to the Boost database and in the terms & conditions on the website.

Franchisees are not obligated to honour stamp cards after the 31st of December 2008 given the 2 month grace period awarded to customers. However, I do understand your frustration as I know you have collected a fair few stamps. If you post your stamp card to the following address as proof of this along with the details on your new hard card (Boostie number, verification code, full name, birthday and email address) I can certainly credit your hard card with the stamps on your old card so that you don’t lose out on the change in procedure.

Boost Juice Bars - Customer Relations Department (Stamp Card)
Level 1, 173 Burke Road, Glen Iris, VIC 3146

Please note that you will have to register your hard card as per instructions on the card before you are able to redeem your free drink, and that we will need 5 working days from when we receive your stamp card for the points to be credited. We cannot take any responsibility for missing stamp cards, so we strongly encourage you to use en express post or registered post envelope when sending this through.

Hope this helps, thanks and have a great weekend!

It all sounds nice and everything, until you consider.

1. D and I walked past the Boost Juice stall several times between November and 31 December. Not once did either of us see any "flyer or poster". Maybe we were blind and simply missed it. Perhaps.

2. Buying the stamps to send something via express or registered post will probably negate the cost of a free drink.

3. The lady at the Boost Juice place confiscated our stamp card!!!

Why, oh why, can't Boost Juice just make up their minds regarding a reward program?

Friday, 16 January 2009

Twisty optimist

So, I've just finished knitting something for her.

But because I know she reads this blog, the only thing I will reveal about the project is this.

She knows it's a pair of fingerless gloves, and she's already seen a photo of the yarn that I was going to use, but how does it actually look when worn?

You'll just have to be patient, Faith.

As much as I love making gifts for people, I am never going to knit with fingering weight yarn again. So thin, so small, just so difficult to knit and so time-consuming! I love the gloves and the pattern, I just didn't appreciate the slow going-ness of the project. It nearly drove me insane.

Only 8-ply weight or above yarn for me in future!

Oh, I'll reveal this too. A sweet label design from aprintaday that I managed to adapt for my own use. You can download the template for yourself too.

Update: She got them!

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Just read in the papers that some 44,000 full-time jobs were lost last year.

All I can say is that I'm thankful that I'm still employed.

Considering I'm in Australia on a work visa, I am extra thankful that I have not lost my job, since that would essentially mean that I'll have to leave the country.

And despite the drought, despite the bush-fires, despite the shark attacks, despite the sometimes crazy rainy weather, I really really do like Australia.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Top of the foodchain

Those living in Australia will surely have noticed the increase in news reports on shark sightings/attacks over the last few days.

Then there's the story about how dogs have killed a child and mauled her younger sister.

Now, I agree that it's horrific and terrible that people should be attacked/killed that way.

However, I also cannot help but ponder the arrogance of the human race, simply because we're at the top of the food chain.

What I'm talking about are the typical cries that we need to "put the rouge animal down" after it attacks someone.

Shark bites human? Kill the shark!

Dog mauls children? Kill the dog!

Snake attacks locals? Kill the snake!

Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill anything that harms us!

I just have a simple question - do humans get the death penalty when they abuse an animal, maim it, starve it, hurt it, kill it?

I'm just not quite sure it's fair...just because we have the power to decide an animal's life and death doesn't mean we should use it so frivolously.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Christianity and politics

Let's start 2009 with a rant.

I simply cannot tolerate people who label themselves Christians, but who do not want to stand up for social justice issues.

I'm not talking about complacency or being apathetic.

I'm talking about those who know that human rights atrocities happen but fail to take action simply because they think it's being "too political".

They don't make a statement about a government, because they believe one should "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's".

These pseudo-Christians choose to bury their heads into the sand and pretend there is no war, no genocide and that people are not suffering because of their inaction.

And the worse thing? They berate other Christians for taking part in activism, for standing up against the wrongs in the world, and even for simply stating that Robert Mugabe is a less than desirable ruler of a country.

It is one thing to stir the hornet's nest and manipulate state of affairs by being too involved in politics. But it is quite another to simply ignore the slave trade, evil dictatorship and mass genocide because that would mean being "involved in politics".

Aren't we Christians called "to act justly and to love mercy"?

So why do we immediately cower in fear and become cowards when someone in church declares that the world needs to take action because dictators like Robert Mugabe is bringing Zimbabwe to ruins?

Why do we choose not to write letters to governments and sign petitions, pressuring the government to be accountable for human rights issues and even environmental issues?

It's like one of the pre-requisites of being Christian is to live in bubble wrap, pretending that the world is made up of rainbows, blue skies and sunflowers and that we all live in perfect harmony.

I say wake up and smell the reality.

This world stinks. People are suffering.

And Christians are the very group of people who are meant to stand up for the poor and suffering, help the widows and orphans, take care of the environment and reflect Christ to the world.

When you show people you care, that's when you become a true Christian.

Why bother to call yourself a Christian when all you want to do is live in your comfortable world, pretending that nobody is in pain or suffering, sometimes because of the government, and criticise others for actually trying to make a difference in the world?
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