Thursday 20 December 2007

Tougher than a 65 cent steak

Right now, I am sitting in a salmon housecoat with a chandelier crystal hanging from a ribbon on my neck, and my hair is wrapped in a silk magenta turban. And heavy sheets of rain are falling on the road outside, making the cars swoosh. Oh domestic bliss!
I am so ecstatic about school being over, and the fact that jobs are falling from the sky like shiny red apples. I just finished making a belly dancing costume and up until christmas I am making dresses all of my baby cousins.
Also, I am doing the artwork for the new Ships Piano album.
This summer I have been to Torquay, Fairhaven, Meredith Music Festival (!) and I just got back from a short stint in a little suburb called Hartwell where I was house-sitting. This place was so green and leafy, I couldn't believe it. The people of Hartwell are solely fueling the drought in Australia.
Agh! I'm waiting for this bloody image to upload, but if it won't by the time I finish typing this post, I'll just throw a tantrum. Well at least I'm dressed for it.
Because all of my friends are going to uni next year and getting full-time jobs, I think I might just run away to a place where I can "plant potatoes and dream" as Moominpapa so fittingly put it.
Maybe I could sell salmon housecoats and become a billionaire next year!
Until then, I'll have the tantrum I promised you all because this picture isn't going anywhere.

Sunday 15 April 2007

Flora's First Smock

This is a dress that I began to make a very long time ago. It is for my art theme 'The link between folklore and imagination and the manifestation in children and their possessions'. I hand-sewed (as in without a machine) nearly all of it except for the boring old straight-seams! It took AGES but was definitely worth it. I think it would be a little too small for a Real-Life baby, but maybe I'll make a doll to fit.

xxx Pinky Pink Ruby xxx

Friday 6 April 2007


This is what Milly Molly Mandy would look like if she had ever met a snail.
&hearts RUBY

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Yelling at Snails

baby bunting

This is me, baking as usual at our old house in Richmond. Check out the fancy moccasins and crumply jarmies. I can assure you dear reader, nothing has changed.
The painting in the background is an early one, by my dad. It is still "hanging" around. hahaha... ah
In fact, this photograph represents me so well that I have sent it in to be part of the next Meet Me At Mike's shop window display.
Now that I look at the clock, it appears that I have spent my entire day doing nothing. Oh no! Oh dear! Oh mercy! Oh Snail!

Monday 26 March 2007

Brightest Flamingo Face

Inspired by Meet Me At Mike's post about a certain somebody, I decided to make my own.
This is Molly, of whom I am very proud, wearing a shining blue ballgown that was found in a secret place. It is her seventeenth birthday present.
Somebody has hand-worked this dress, probably for their daughter to wear to a dance... but not a hop. It fits Molly like a glove, and right now it is hanging in my wardrobe because it is too precious to be transported by train. We are waiting for my Dad to drive us around in his rusty pink wagon.

blowing bubbles...

Hallo old chums! I've been a long time, but I won't apologise. If I write things when I don't want to, they are not usually worth reading! So there you have it!
Today I woke up at 5:30 am- by accident of course! I wanted to go to the Camberwell market, so I made sure I was out of the house by 7:30. But I didn't realise that it was the end of daylight savings, so I was an hour ahead. I wandered down the deserted station ramp and lucky me! The very first tram of the day rolled by me! I got on the tram, hoping to kill 45 minutes or so. It was surprisingly full- I guess a lot of people hadn't been home. I listened to my brother's band The Ships Piano all the way along St Kilda Rd.
Then I wandered around the city- it was cold and only beginning to become light. I walked toward Flinders Street Station and suddenly I heard "RUBYYY!!!" -I looked up, only to see my good friend Tessa! She had been out all night and was waiting for the trains to start up again. By the time I got to Camberwell, it was around 8 o'clock. I began scavenging straight away.
I bought some swap cards- my Dad and I have begun to collect them after a lucky find in Burwood. The two above, I plucked out hungrily after seeing pages and pages of bronzed nineties footballers grinning out from their plastic sleeves.
And then I found the gilded bird (below) inside a really expensive tin that I was going to buy- until I found out how much it cost. I think my disappointment must have been obvious, for the woman gave me the card as a condolence.

And! These fantastic little things! Oh they are such fun to play with! I found this game- "Tops And Tails" perched on a card table, shining in the sun. The only thing is, that there is only ONE piece missing in the whole set. Which really gets me. Nevertheless, they are really a good lot of fun!

This is a tin that I had previously had the lid to, but not the bottom. I found the lid a few years ago at Hard Rubbish, and I always wanted to know what the bottom looked like. When I saw it on the table, I just flipped! I must say, it lives up to its expectations. There are pictures of labeled wildflowers around the sides, and when you turn it, there is a map of all the different kinds of sweet-things that had been packed away in the tin.

Fate had brought me to this golden strawberry apron, for I did not find it at the market! My train home was not coming for 38 minutes- so I decided to walk all the way home from South Yarra (about an hour away). The opp shop was open, and I figured that I should go in for a little look. I found this little gem after a while- I was about to give up. It cost six dollars- the exact amount in my purse and for good measure, my LUCKY number.

I also got some other very good and bloggable items, but I'm sure that I can spread them over this week. Which happily is the last week of school before Autumn/Spring break.
Stay Snailey
Lots and Lots of Love From Ruby

Saturday 10 March 2007

Oh Hamburg!

Well guess what? This is what my dear friend Ricky Ray Ricardo sees every time he opens his bedroom curtains. He is in Germany on exchange and from what I hear, having a terrific time of it! I am so envious of that brilliant ice and snow- think of the layers upon layers of woolies! Speaking of wild and wooly weather, it has been rather nice recently here. Which is exactly my problem. I want rain and fog! I want cardigans and scarves! It IS Autumn after all, it's not too much to ask... but the sun continues to split through the clouds and dance around, gaily. P.S I don't really mean it- I'm just in need of some chilliness.
I have been rejuvenating my 'cyclops' brand children's pram and hopefully should be finished by tomorrow afternoon. I will show some pictures soon!
And just-then my Father walked through the door bearing gifties! Oh he brought me the most marvelous box of swap cards that I have ever seen and now I will go up to my room, which isn't tidy and gaze for a few minutes before nodding off. I don't fancy going into the kitchen to fetch the camera, because there is a sinister-looking spider pressed against the wall, and when I go for a glass of milk I am reminded of her (or him).
Goodnight Sillies!

Wednesday 7 March 2007

hullo there!

It seems that I have a new new brand new friend! Her name is Wandering Wendy, because she follows me around! I really wished that I had found one of the longed for Betsy Wetsy Dolls of my mother's childhood (her baby sister had one, but she didn't) but I love Wendy AND her poly-plastic blend frock.

Here she is, perched on some bricks in my garden. I will have a splendid time making her lots of new dresses!
Molly and I had gone on an expedition to Nunawading and decided to drop in at Heather Shimmen's hometown on the way. It looked as though fate had spouted a golden stream of niceties down upon us on our routine-second-visit to the epilepsy opp shop in Blackburn. I found a wonderful bouquet of dolls dresses from mid-century Australian Suburbia and some little postcards from Geraldton. 1944.

But then! Molly and I had a little cherry tart from 'Bonjour Du Paris" *ahem* that's Hello Some Paris. And we waltzed past the opp shop window once more for good luck, and who was staring with candy-eyed intent? One Wandering Wendy!
I knew that she was something that I needed and to deny her to myself would be a form of self-harm.
And that's how she was welcomed into my family.
stay sweet!

Monday 26 February 2007

Daddy Fleece

Today, Molly and I sang "T-t-t-t-t-t-touch me, I wanna be diiirty! Thrill me, chill me, fulfill me! Creature of the night!" All the way down to Glenferrie Road. Then We were very indecisive, which often happens, and ended up eating yoghourt at the train station. Oh It Got So Hot Today. I was sitting in Studio Art and my hair felt like it was going to weld to my neck!
But I found a two dollar coin on the ground, and I just shrieked! That is the nicest thing to happen, and it is very rare to find a gold coin just lying in the middle of a busy walkway!
When I got home, I found that The Meet Me At Mike's blog which is run by Pip Pip Plum Pip have made a special post just for me. It's just little and lovely. Thank you!

Here is a picture of some 'nuno' felt that I made last year, drying in the breeze. The word 'nuno' means 'fabric' in Japanese, and this technique combines fleece with silk organza- so it has a lighter and more drapable effect than other felted materials. I really enjoyed making it, because I felt so cosy, inside rolling my big bamboo mats while the rain pelted down. And then drying it in the sun, admiring my work. What a lovely feeling! I shall be doing it again this coming winter.

The picture at the beginning of this post is of my Dad, when he was sixteen. He was a sharpie, and used to skateboard down the steepest hills in Burwood in the seventies. And he wrote in his diary " Today I am concerned about the threat my father made me; if I don't shave, I will have to have my hair cut, which is ridiculous to even think of. And if I try to grow a beard, well he is going to cut it off himself."

Saturday 24 February 2007

oh muffin!

All I have to offer today is one little muffin. I made exactly fourteen of these little gems this afternoon.

Sometimes, the only thing that will comfort me is baking, and today was just cool enough to pretend that it was Autumn. We haven't had affordable bananas in Melbourne for about a year, because of Cyclone Larry!!!

So Really I Hadn't Made Banana Muffins In Ages!

Until today, when I felt like it was wartime and I was a broad-shouldered soldier's sweetheart! If only more things in life were harder to come across, then maybe we all would appreciate them more. Perhaps I should just pretend that I have rations on most days, so that everything is amazing.

"Necessity is the mother of invention."

I have a plum pip in my mouth and my mind is saying "aren't there lots of lovely nutrients in there?" My Molly senses say YES.
Ah! I have lots of homework, but I don't want to do any of it! I just hate when I am in these lazy lazy moods. Well I will do it... soon.

Goodnight and Goodluck
x Ruby x

Thursday 22 February 2007

Linky link!

Hello deer-reader!
So, hopefully by the end of this post, I will know how to link. With thanks to my new friend Anushka!!!

Also I mentioned in the last post about the doll's dress, that I based my real dress on. Click! and-there-you-are! happy landing on a chocolate bar!

The photograph above is a picture of My Brother, My Neighbour and I. We were all learning to knit last year, and this photo was taken down at Venus Bay. Our neighbours have a block of land and have just built a gorgeous house there! Well I wish I had more to link, but I don't really. I suppose that just makes them all the more enjoyable though!

kissy kiss! and linky link! to you.

With Love From Ruby

Wednesday 21 February 2007

in the middle of the night

it's the middle of the night and i'm probably not even allowed to use capital letters. so i won't. i have just been writing and writing for my art assignment and i just cannot write anymore! (oops, too loud) i have been learning all about kiki smith, who is just a brilliant artist and a beautiful woman.
The picture above is me, in a dress that i made for new years eve. i based it upon a doll's dress that i made for my best friend's boss, who is called pip, (which is my mum's name) and we "probably know everything about each other already" says little molly.
if i knew how to link, then you could all see this dress that i have made, but i don't. i will learn though.
well regardless, this is my dress. or at least the best photo i can get at the moment. i will show you some more photos soon. i promise... and i have never broken a promise. at least not on this blog.
i hope that if anyone was reading this aloud, they at least whispered the whole thing because really, it's not very appropriate, speaking loudly in the Middle Of The Night.

Wednesday's Child

My neighbour/sister, Gracie is sitting next to me right now! And we are both Wednesday's children... full of 'whoooo!'
We are organising an Autumn party, and talking about French homework. Which seems to be all that I speak about these days.
It is rather muggy weather and Sebastian is drawing on his tummy.
I have brought gifties to my blog today! Here are some things that I have made!
This is a hat that I made in summer, last year. I actually made it during exams, which seems to be a regular occurrence. I ALWAYS make things in high-stress situations.

Here are a couple of dollies that I made. One in 2005 and one last year! Oh, now I feel old. They are perched in a baby pram that I found on the street. It is called 'Cyclops'. Oh I called them Clara and Pluto. Try and guess which is which.

And.. This is my cardigan! At least the back of it, all folded and cast-off! My first finished knitting piece- kind of.

I have to let Sebastian on the computer... "I know way more about computers than you, Ruby".
We just found an old tape I made in grade three... "GROSSOLOGY" haha!
Ahhh! Back to the lure of Art History. Huh, Zoe? are you reading?
bye-bye, love rubyxxxxxx

Tuesday 20 February 2007

to shrines

Oh well, I'm still sick. I honestly thought this cold would be gone by now, but it's not! At least I can have a little bit of time to catch up on things.
For my entire life, I have always made shrines. I used to make snail farms when I was about three, and name each snail Flora. Flora was my favourite name (and still is). I would tend to plastic containers filled with lettuce and snails avidly. The reason why my blog is called Oh Snail! is because I still hold those tiny creatures in very high regard. My dad is a religious hoarder, and I suppose I am as well. It was never difficult for me to find interesting articles to arrange as a child. I recently found a diary entry from 1997 (while sifting through material for my art folio). It describes my "speshal things" shelf; "a anshent pram weel, a bunnie with 3 legs, my spell books, shell collecshun, dry flower and som cudlefish."
I can absolutely remember every object on that special-things shelf, the "anshent pram wheel" was a wheel my dad found in the alleyway behind our house. It was encrusted with marbled rocks and all sorts of rusted trimmings. I thought it was the most amazing thing, and it was on my shelf for many years. Also, the bunny with three legs appears in the photograph below. I won it at a fete when I was six, (all four legs intact) and have kept it ever since.
So my shrines have stayed with me over the years and still I find absolute delight in arranging and presenting my special things.

I really like the idea that some things take time. And some things, once they are created are out of the control of the creator. Like Antonio Gaudi's 'La Segrada Familia'- the temple in Barcelona, that commenced construction in 1881, and is still being built. They predict that it will be finished in 2015. When I am twenty-six.
I visited the temple with my family about three years ago, and it really was a most stunningly poignant building. The fact that Gaudi designed it, knowing he would never see it in completion is so incomprehensible to me. It just shows that he must have seen it as something separate to his own creation, something that had to be born.
Here is a picture of my brother and I, in front of the towers. This photo is definitely a freeze-frame, because since then, the cathedral has been built further, Sebastian has shot up to my height, and my hair is MUCH longer... and browner!

A big thank-you to Anushka over at magic-fingers, for making me feel so welcome in the blogging community, I am just humbled by your linkingPOWERS! And I just wanted to say that I am very much enjoying blogging, It is much more fun than I initially thought it would be!

xxx Ruby xxx

Monday 19 February 2007


Well hello again! I am actually back, which is something I thought would never happen. Today I came home early from school because I have an extremely stubborn cold, and I felt bad for sniffling and clutching onto floral hankies while reciting French Grammar. So I took it upon myself to leave.

I HAVE been working though! At the moment, I am making a smocked dress for my Art folio. My theme is a complicated one, that is difficult to explain. However, I will try. I want to create a child- or the concept of a child that is universal, in the way that it is me at all stages in my life up to the age of ten. I am going to explore the links between folklore (that is-parent interference on the child's perception of reality) and imagination, (the unprejudiced and untouched individuality of the child) and the effects that these two factors have on a child and its possessions/a>

I am also knitting a cardigan. It is from a 1956 springtime women's weekly. The pattern is called "sophisticated shortie". Due to the tiny ply and the miniscule needles, I think I should be finished this by oh... 2056?/a>

Well, because of the incessant heat that we are experiencing down here, I have no patience for baking. God. It's awful! But here's a snap of a cake (Raspberry and Pine Nut) that I made to commemorate the death of my last 'Summer as a Schoolgirl'.
It really looked amazing, but couldn't be appreciated. As soon as it was on the cooling rack, the sun split through the clouds and poured sticky-hot daylight down. I did make a delightful yoghourt-cream with a few raspberries plopped throughout, and that was well received./a>

And now I am sitting on a cushion, eating a very blushed peach!
Oh! Onto more essays and seaming of silk dresses for me!
Good Afternoon!
Love, Ruby

Saturday 17 February 2007

an introduction

So this is the beginning of my very first blog, Dear Reader. Although I remain completely loyal to pen and parchment, I have decided to begin a blog to meet like-minded people.
I live in Australia, I am seventeen, and I like to sew, read, knit, draw, paint, act, faire du velo, bake, dance, babysit, write and cartwheel.
I have a little brother- Sebastian, he is 14 and quickly becoming bigger than me! I also have some little friends, probably the one I will write most about is Molly Rose. She is the Little Friend Susan to my Milly-Molly-Mandy! I'd say.
I like to think that my dress sense is whimsical, and mostly handmade. Also. I get excited by very wholesome things, like swollen baby bumps, rising dough, freshly-spun lambswool, old crumbly books and children in beautiful clothes.
At the moment I am very excited about the impending gloriousness of Autumn and every puddle-splashing, leaf-crunching opportunity.
I go to a lovely little school where I mainly do Art, Literature, French and Theatre. I love school and all of my chums there. When I grow up, which is apparantly at the end of this year, I will go to Paris and probably fall in love or something of equal grownupedness. So please, watch this space. I will be back with writings of things that I have actually made. I promise!
Love Ruby May