Alais Japan postponed

Sorry for not notifying everyone earlier but we had to postpone our visit to Japan.

My Nanna in law got ill and then passed away at the rip old age of 93. We have been dealing with her loss and estate and trying to make our little one understand why Nanna is not around any more.

One of the hardest things with a 2-year-old.

This was followed by the family cat injuring himself quite seriously while jumping down a tree. Many $$ later and one leg less, our Ninja cat is now called hop-a-long Cassidy and slowly recovering from the amputation.

So our trip had to be postponed for a while.


Japan once again

Well it’s confirmed, within 2 weeks we’ll be off to Japan again. Am packing like crazy, tidying up, getting the house ready and planning our trip.

Naturally there will be time in Narita, a day or so in Tokyo and then what? What other sights to see this time.

It’s too late in the year to see the snow monkeys have hotbaths, we might go back to Hakone, we did not get a good chance to see that last time.

For those who followed and might still read, any suggestions of where to go?



Lotus Plant update

Well it’s been 2 months and my lotus went nuts! The original seed has rotted away, and so far the 4th root system has sprouted.

lotus plant

I’ve not been a very good mommy to it as it only went into its heavy clay today, so the roots will finally manage to get some grip on something, and settle before the plant dies down during winter.
It’s interesting to see how it continues to grow and creates other ‘plants’ simply by shooting of to the side. This also explains why it’s considered a pest, it be hard to eradicate once you got it in a pond, and why they advise to plant it in a pot or fish pond.


The bad news is the other 2 seeds did not germinate, luckily I have 3 more seeds and I will plant those next spring.


Curb Trove: Display Cabinet & Display doodah shelf thingy

I did it again!
Although this time is more a hand me down than a curb trove. Someone asked me if I was interested in a 1960-70s display cabinet.
Well like shoes, a woman can never have enough display cabinet when she lives in the Australian countryside along a dirt road (lots of dust during the summer!) when she collects so many things. So I said yes. Still need to go and pick it up but this is what it looks like


It needs some work, a good dust, a repaint and maybe new legs, although I’m quite partial to these ones. Based on the measurements given it might not fit at the end of my corridor, where I’d like it, so if it doesn’t it will move to our bedroom.

Plans already forming. If it will go to our bedroom, I will sand the whole thing down, and repaint it white so it will fit with the bed I’m planning to build (but that’s another story) and maybe replace the drawer handles with something new. If it does fit at the end of the corridor I will repaint it black and leave handles as is, depending on how worn out they are or replace with similar.

I’m very taken by the cabinet and looking forward to work on it.

Said that I’m also working on another curb trove. I’m not sure what to call it so display doodah shelf thingy will do.


Nothing fancy but it will look gorgeous once I stain it and move it to the other side of the house and stack the top with my collection of teacup planters, full of plants, and hang of the rail (which does not show well in this picture) teapots full of plants.

So I got another 2 projects to get working on


2 out of three isn’t bad!

Well it seems one of my seeds wasn’t viable, as so far I have sprouting on the other 2.
One is doing really well with a second leaf slowly appearing, the other one just has the 1st leaf. I wonder if this is due to how much I sanded the seeds. Next year I will see if I can sand them the same and see if that makes a difference.


For now I am pretty happy that I got 2 to sprout, and can’t wait till they are ready for their home pot. Mind you! There will be no flowers till next year


Curb trove: police pedal car

I think at times I’m very lucky that my other half is such an accommodating fella. Doesn’t matter what sort of odd things I think up, he might shake his head but never says anything negative.
Not even when I am in my Curb Pirate mode and end up with another treasure. About 18 months ago, when my Smurg was only 6 months old, I found this amazing doll house.



I know! The local graffiti brigade has been past, but it has potential! (I would make a great estate agent). It’s made of wood, with windows and doors that open and close, a gorgeous turned staircase and heaps of potential.

I have so far ripped roof off, carpet out, wallpaper of, cleaned all the windows and then painted the inside white. I have (well the boss did) covered the roof with the rounded end of tongue depressors and painted them red and am waiting for cooler weather to paint the window/door frames and carpet the floors.
Once done I will show how it looks.

Now last week, another curb trove was carted off home. The Police Pedal Car

This one needs a lot less work. Daddy will check the mechanics after which I will remove rust, recover seat and polish it.
One happy smurg patrols our veranda now

Off to check the Lotus seeds



I’m all exited it’s only been a couple of days and two of my seeds are showing signs of life!
Terrible picture and will fix that tomorrow, but it shows whats happening in my soup bowl

Maybe we shall turn our motorless spa into a lotus pond


The Lotus Flower Project


I have always like flowers that float on water, but are they lotus flowers or waterlilies?
Last year before our trip to Japan, I bought 6 Lotus seeds at a farmers market here in Victoria, and I’m going to grown them so thought I’d share my Lotus adventure with you. Not as exiting as Japan but to me just as exiting in its own right.

If you Google “lotus flower” you get to see some of the most amazing flowers, have a look HERE

Now the difference between the 2 is quite obvious once you know it. Lotus flower leaves don’t lay on the water and their petals look more like closed hands, instead of spread out fingers. I found a good picture to illustrate this on another blog (check HERE). Funnily enough the only flowers I took photo’s of seem to be waterlilies, although I cannot find one group of pictures of water flowers.

Anyways, now we know the difference, which difference does that make to us? None really unless you plan on eating your flower, not sure if waterlilies are safe to eat, but Lotus flowers are.

This is the set I bought, a takeaway box, 6 seeds ( I had taken out the 3 I used already before picture), 2 pieces of sanding paper, and instructions.

I’ve decided to start with 3 seeds. if that works I will do the other 3.
Lotus seeds are known to be the oldest surviving and fertile seeds in the world.
While looking for info about the difference between lotus and lily, I read that carbon dating on a seeds indicated it was about 1300 years old, and when planted it germinated and produces a viable plant. Check out THIS article on the Kew Gardens website. By the way, Kew Gardens is one of my favorite botanical gardens. If you ever visit London, it’s worth a trip.

So I found myself a bowl with tepid water, about 5-10 cm deep. I took my 3 seeds and sanded off the flat end of the seeds to facilitate germination.
Then I popped them in the bowl and now we simply wait.

Each day you need to change the water and I will keep you up to date on my process.

Have a nice day

When a ‘Circus’ makes you wonder what goes on in the head of dolls

My friend Marlis introduced me to a lady who designs and gives birth to some very unusual BJDs (ball jointed dolls), Nefer Kane. Gosh to be honest Marlis is a very naughty friend as she introduces me to so many lovely dolls!

There are heaps of BJDs around, 100s of different companies, artists, designers, models, sizes, but Nefer’s dolls are unique. They have a haunting look, they don’t conform to the current standards of beauty physically, they are ‘Nefer’ no other way to describe them.

Nefer and her dolls make me think. I always wondered if her name derived from Nefertiti ( I should ask her one day) and as such is Egyptian in origin. Did some searching on the internet and came across the hieroglyph for Nefer,


Unless you know her dolls you wont see what I noticed staight away. Her dolls look like the Nefer hieroglyph! Seems that they are Nefer in more than one way. 

I added the hieroglyph over a picture of her Iracebeth (see for more pictures of this doll. I did not take the picture I used a blurred one from her site) to show you what I mean.



The tall narrow spine and neck, the slim arms and rounded hip area. Just like the hieroglyph.

Unfortunately Nefer dolls are out of my budget reach, so for me it’s a simple case of eyecandy I look at them and wonder.  I wonder what goes on in their little heads, why the sad look and what they ate to have such a wonderful round bottom and thighs!

Seeing Nefer is based in France (If I recall correctly! Sorry Nefer if I got that wrong) it must be some scrumptious French desert or entree. A piece of baguette with a chunk of brie, a yummy croissant filled with apricot confiture..arghhhhh hungry now.

So do check out her website at WWW.CKDOLLS.COM and blog and judge for yourself. She is an artist.


Boo! Here I am again

Sorry to all those who followed this faithfully for going “poof” in July. I’m back, with a few more things to share about Japan and about my plans for 2013.

Working on a lovely christmas ornament which I will share with you all later this week

Good to be back!


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