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  • Posts Tagged ‘roses’

    Rose mattress

    Posted in blogjune
    June 29th, 2014


    Hello possums.


    In the Adelaide hills, rose plants are being put in large enclosures (cages) to protect them from the possums. My mother-in-law calls the possums “those furry bastards” because they savage all her plants (and thirst after roses) even though she planted some natives specifically for them. She blames the population explosion on the people that feed them bread and honey – if you don’t bring an offering, they bite your feet through the sandals. I guess toes can look pretty appetising, like human sausages with a little ridge cap nail on the end. A delicacy.


    Free range rose in Canberra

    Gaol-striped rose


    I love these striped Floribunda-type roses – they remind me of carnation experiments at Questacon. When I was little, a science fair had them all lined up, each stem sucking up different colours to change the petals. The best rose-lust blog is Rosomanes by Masha.


    There is something poetic and Magritte-like about keeping a rose in an aviary, like a songbird with clipped wings.


    There is a lot of development in the Adelaide Hills area, so this is removing one structure for possums (gum trees with delectable blossoms) and replacing it with a new structure for the plants (rosy gaol), all so that we can have a new structure for people (houses in an area where they can admire what’s left of the “natural” scenery). As Lindy Stacker (wildlife care volunteer) says, “People wouldn’t have noticed possums 50 years ago because they had a habitat,”.


    Foster possum in Canberra

    Possum snooze


    One of my friends fosters orphaned or injured possums. In Canberra this is through ACT Wildlife (go to their site to donate), but other Australian states/territories have different arrangements and organisations. There are some useful tips from RSPCA ACT and TAMS.


    I was surprised to see that possums even like the taste of Andrew Bolt’s garden:


    Having a curtain of flowers turned into a ghastly skeleton has broken my heart…”

    (Bolt, A. (2012, June 25). Cracking from paws and effect. Herald Sun, p. 13. Retrieved from Factiva.


    A life and death sentence for delicious roses (and possums).



    Woodland zweiheit

    Posted in Lifestyle
    November 24th, 2013


    During our Hawai’i ceremony, I felt breathless like the Cure’s Love Song, the sun shone through the leafy canopy and the forest so kindly bore witness.


    I walked towards him at the waterfall, the celebrant said the words, and my partner gave the most wonderful and thoughtful vows. We exchanged leis which were made with an orchid called “Sonia” (purely a coincidence!).


    Wedding shoes Hawai'i

    Pink podophilia


    Thank you to Frieda Gayle, such a wonderful and thoughtful celebrant, who even hiked to several areas to find the perfect place and really did organise everything!


    Many thanks to Shawna Lee for taking us to the rainforest and the beach, and for your heartfelt hula and beautiful photographs. We couldn’t have asked for a more magical ceremony, and we are so grateful for all your assistance.


    Wedding hair by Rhubarb & me, flowers by The Snail and Petal

    Mother Barfoed with roses


    Yesterday we had a family celebration at a rural property in a Canberra valley, with thanks to Leonie for letting us picnic and croquet on her lawns. It was lovely to share a quasi-wedding experience with my family, as our Hawai’i ceremony was really an announced elopement.


    My dodgy photos won’t do justice to the beautiful flowers and food, so I’ll link to Leonie’s professional photos when they’re available. I’m looking forward to seeing the family photos, but I’m a bit worried about the couple ones, as being photographed is one of our areas for improvement.


    Quiche by Veganarchy

    Quiche by Veganarchy


    It was a very relaxed affair, but I think that’s because everyone contributed towards the day – there was even a gift of a hand-built deck in our backyard, so we’ll always remember this moment in time when we play on it. We also had a nice moment opening cards from overseas family, who also sent a traditional Norwegian spoon for sharing porridge. I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of the food before it started being demolished (a good testament for vegan catering!) and melting in the sun –it was also amazing that the layered cake survived the trip in the bouncy Terraplane.


    Mum organised all the details – making the cardboard table pad, stamping the cutlery napkins, finding tableware and furniture, even down to hand-quilting a hot pink rug. Intense! I think it stems from her project management expertise. I am so thankful for her caring and organised nature and to spend this special moment together.


    Wedding cake by The Cake Cabinet

    Wedding cake by The Cake Cabinet


    We forgot to bring our board games (carcassonne and dominion), but my father and brothers had set up a croquet lawn, so we enjoyed pretending to be in Wonderland. Somehow one of the brothers Barfoed managed to break one of the mallets, I didn’t realise it was such a violent sport.


    Sonja with croquet mallets

    Mallets with unknown collective noun


    It was nice to see all the furry cows and hear the kookaburras’ songs. There was a spot in the forest that reminded us of our ceremony spot in Hawai’i, a funny connection between such different landscapes.


    Sleeping groom with boutonniere by The Snail and Petal

    How to plant a flower


    You can see below, Mr. Cat on my veil (made by Effie Dee), and the largest earring contains one of my Grandma’s gallstones. She always said they should be made into earrings (my previous post provides context), so artists Lan Nguyen-Hoan and Tarn Smith have been transforming them with silver. When the series is complete I’ll share better pictures. It was really gratifying to fulfil my Grandma’s wishes and feel like she attended, in a way.


    Sonja with Effie Dee veil and gallstone earrings by Lan Nguyen-Hoan and Tarn Smith

    The gallstone wish


    We had a wonderful experience at the ceremony and the picnic, and I am so glad that we both decided to speed-date on that fateful night so many years ago.



    Our excellent (and of course highly recommended) facilitators:




    Celebrant: Frieda Gayle, first listing on Kauai directory

    Driver, photographer, hula dancer: Shawna Lee

    Hair & make-up: Chelle at Koloa Town Salon & Day Spa

    Marriage paperwork and local advice: Ellen at The Wine Shop Kauai

    Pizzas: Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers

    Post-ceremony art exhibition enjoyment: Galerie 103




    For both events:


    Dress: Claire at Nocturne Design

    Veil and brooch: Effie dee and her shop with custom made pet portrait brooches

    Tux t-shirt: Millie at T-Bar Canberra Centre

    Gloves: inherited from Grandma

    Shoes: second-hand online


    For Canberra picnic:


    Gallstone jewellery: Lan Nguyen-Hoan & Tarn Smith

    Hair & make-up: Jess and Anne at Rhubarb & me

    Flowers: Anna at The Snail & Petal

    Wedding cake: Nie-kiewa at The Cake Cabinet

    Vegan picnic catering: Gabby at Veganarchy

    Photography (beautiful pictures to come, the ones above are my dodgy ones) and venue: Leonie at Snowgum Studio



    Tusen takk! xxx

    Vegan in the parliamentary triangle

    Posted in blogjune
    June 27th, 2013


    It’s difficult to get vegan food in many parts of Canberra, but especially so in the parliamentary triangle. I propose that the current amenities review of the parliamentary zone result in a vegan food truck or wandering cupcake seller, it could be called govsnack (copyright Cush, @cu5h).


    I’m providing this summary of my experience with cafés and restaurants in the parliamentary triangle in the hope that they’ll recognise the vegan/vegetarian market, without the requirement to phone ahead or make a special request. Look at the success of Sweet Bones in Braddon, only 4 kilometres away from the parliamentary triangle (but with a fair chunk of time trying to find a car park there and one on return).


    I went to The Kitchen Cabinet (Old Parliament House), I’d been to their 2012 Chocolate Maker talk (see if you can find me in the photos!) which was very accommodating to vegans (but then it is pre-booked so it’s a different thing altogether). Today I was incorrectly enthused by their roast vegetables with pine nuts listed on their menu, before their staff member kindly pointed out that it was a quiche filling. Clearly subheadings on chalkboards are not my forte. There was lots of blocks and gift packs of Lindsay & Edmunds organic chocolate for sale, but solely milk or white chocolate combinations. If there was dark chocolate I could have bought it, as Peter is very insistent about not putting milk solids in chocolate (he mentioned this at the Chocolate Maker talk).


    Pumpkins at The Kitchen Cabinet

    Coaches or pumpkins


    Lots of other produce including pumpkins, but I had already used up too much of my lunch break walking around so I didn’t have time to buy, chop, cook and eat vegetables from start to finish.


    Lovely roses outside Parliament House, maybe I could eat them – rose petal icecream and lavender truffles are my top favourite foods of all time.


    Roses at OPH

    Rosy deliciousness


    Here’s a list of other places to eat in the parliamentary triangle, if you want lunch on a weekday. Some of these places have excellent call-ahead vegan options but I hope that they become permanent menu items:



    Promenade Café at Hyatt Hotel (custom risotto if you turn up for lunch without a call-ahead), I have also attended the weekend high tea where I’ve had a separate special meal (everyone else accesses the buffet), there was a chargrilled vegetable sandwich (average) and dessert plate (excellent). Make sure you mention it when you book the high tea tickets.


    Pork Barrel (tomato or mushroom pizza with no cheese, depending on your view of veganism relating to yeast, no call-ahead),


    Coffers at the Treasury building (basic white rice and vegetables, no call-ahead),


    Bookplate at National Library (custom on-demand salads, call-ahead needed. They also do excellent vegan catering with lime-soaked coconut strawberries). Paperplate (LG1 level of the Library) has a noodle salad that could possibly be vegan,


    Portrait Café at National Portrait Gallery (custom on-demand salad, zucchini balls, call-ahead definitely needed, which sometimes goes to their voicemail which means they are very busy and probably won’t make it),


    Café Milieu at John Gorton building (sandwiches, basic rice with vegetables, no call-ahead), and


    NGA Café (National Gallery) inside on lower ground level has an apple blackberry cake (but there were none today, very sad) and occasional dairy free salad. The Turner Tea Room on level one offers cream tea, lunch and high tea – I’m unsure if there are vegan variations on the menu offerings. The outside café might sometimes have vegan soup and bread at the during winter (today was wombok soup, which was apparently vegetarian but not vegan).



    Places I haven’t tried for lunch during the week are Galileo Café (Questacon), Queen’s Terrace Café (Parliament House), Waters Edge, Lobby Restaurant, and the Deck (Regatta Point) and probably some others.



    Sometimes it takes a lot of phone calls, planning and walking just to get lunch. Perhaps instead of parking spaces in the parliamentary triangle, we should convert all the parking spaces into community gardens so there would always be something to eat.



    One of these things

    Posted in blogjune, Lifestyle
    June 7th, 2013


    One of these things is not like the others, did you guess which thing…? If you guessed the pink pulled sugar rose, then you’re absolutely …right! It was made by Eric Menard, the National Gallery’s Executive Pastry Chef.



    One of these things is not like the others...

    Eric’s sugar rose

    There is a much better photo of the pulled sugar rose from the National Gallery’s instagram. I read a story a long time ago about a boy finding the ideal gift for his sister, he had planted a sugar cube to grow a sugar tree. Perhaps the sugar cube that was planted was a rose variety, and that’s how this sugar rose really came to life.


    I’d like to eat the sugar rose (which I assume tastes like happiness, bursting love-hearts and sunshine), but it’s better to keep it forever at the top of the pantry (for stealing furtive, sugar-longing glances). This means I’m doing the same thing as when Mum kept my brother’s icing booties from his christening cake for at least five years, maybe longer if she still has them. The booties had very fine detail and I used to lick them when I felt sad. I wonder if she noticed the imitation stitching getting fuzzed over the years. I had been reduced to slowly ravishing the booties, because a lock was installed high up on the pantry so it cut my regular sugar cube supply line. My brother and I worked together to reach the lock, then we would drink Ice Magic to condition our teeth against sugar.



    The sugar rose has also been used by artist Liam Revell to comment on the transience of fashion. His sugar rose brooch that was gradually eaten by the wearer in Kate and Rose (2006). His wonderful photographs show the consumption of this impermanent decoration (Revell, Liam, A Decorative Effect (2012), scroll to page 19).


    Another sugary element at the Gallery is Duchamp’s Why not sneeze Rose Sélavy? (1921 reconstructed 1964) with trick sugar cubes. Delicious!


    It must be a rose day because I’m watching American Beauty while I’m writing about roses. A feedback loop…



    Snail start to blogjune

    Posted in blogjune, Lifestyle
    June 3rd, 2013


    blogjune – it’s the third of June so here is a three day wrap-up! Changing from monthly to daily posts for this month was possibly a little ambitious, but maybe this will further focus my time management.


    I was unwell on Saturday so I was sad to miss the opening of Blaide Lallemand’s painting exhibition at CraftACT’s pod, Lonsdale Street Traders. Make sure you head along! If you’re not based in Canberra, there’s also a video of the interactive paintings.


    To console myself, I watched lots of episodes of Dawson’s Creek, I’m now up to Season 5, episode 4. There are only six seasons so there’s not long to go (then I’ll be beyond consolation). Perhaps I should frame this as a sociological study of the 90s, but my viewing is mostly for nostalgic reasons (and as background refamiliarisation before I watch Apartment 23). It also means that the cats get to hear their favourite sitcom intro song, in addition to increased lap time and being harassed by toy dinosaurs.


    The butterfly and rose were shocked to discover that neither seemed as they had appeared. Darn internet dating!

    Meadow Argus butterfly on John Maddock and sons “Old Rose” plate


    I spent Sunday cooking minestrone soup, chocolate coconut cake and spaghetti veganaise. The vegan chocolate coconut cake was very successful – I adapted a Taste recipe by replacing the butter with cocoa butter (expensive but the value is in the flavour) and milk with soy milk, and flour with hazelnut meal. I also added cocoa nibs. I guess I just can’t follow recipe instructions. Verdict from Mr. Sonja was “delicious”. It’s a lot better feedback than “What happened?” or “Very rustic” (hmm).


    I reduced my tyre changing rookie status, but the bolts were so tight that I had to stand on the wrench. It was like the fairytale where the princess wishes she was heavier (the princesses received their weight in gold as a reward, another variation was choosing between being dipped in oil or gold). It was unpleasant but not as bad as last week when I almost crashed because the tyre burst. Drama, excitement! The biggest reward in changing the tyre was finding a lovely butterfly on the ground, I was sad it had gone to the great nectar in the sky but I do secretly enjoy collecting them.


    Today (Monday) I planned lots of library tweets for the @aliangac account (ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee) and culled a swarm of emails (it’s good to know that cialis is still popular!). While I was at work today there were lots of lovely sunbeams coming in through the windows and I managed to catch all of them around the building with my feline hunting skills.




    Liedekijn opens plus talks and roses

    Posted in Art, Art exhibition, Books
    March 30th, 2013


    Liedekijn, the group exhibition, opened on Thursday with great fanfare and corsetry. Gavin the Thomson has taken some great photos and written a lively summary of the night on his Sketchbook Scribbles art blog.


    You have till 8 April to see the exhibition at The Front Gallery, and the art-books are available from Impact Comics Canberra and All Star Comics Melbourne until sold out. In the photo below you can see an installation shot, with Katie Winchester’s work on the left (with part of the liedekijn tale above) and my collaborative work (made with Wes Hobday) on the right.


    liedekijn exhibition art by Katie Winchester and Sonja Barfoed

    Left: Winchester,
    Right: Barfoed/Hobday

    In addition to the exhibition opening, there was a follow-on liedekijnish “comicky ziney dinner night” which featured wonderful talks by Katie WinchesterTim McEwen and Bruce Mutard, and the industrious Gavin has also written a summary of the talks and the reluctant star of the night, dramatic exploding beer.


    What I really took away from the talks was the link between commercial work or jobs for the cash dollars and personal projects. Katie spoke about the importance of having a passion or interest in client-directed work to make the process more enjoyable and productive, and it was interesting to see Tim’s searchlight intelligence approach in linking concepts (everything’s connected, like the commercial-personal dialogue), and Bruce’s painstaking approach to research really showed his passion for war narratives in comic format.


    This connection between commercial and personal work conjures a vague memory of reading (a long time ago!) that artist René Magritte had a job creating rose designs for wallpaper, and how this bled into his own work. I need to verify this in his catalogue raisonné as I am unsure if I have somehow created this fact by melding fact and fiction in my brain (so this paragraph might change!).


    Katie talked about having your heart in a work, and look, I have found an apt reflection on  Magritte’s work and hopefulness of the soul – “My heart fills the world like Magritte’s rose.” (Maso, 2000, p. 109). Maybe it’s appropriate that Magritte’s rose in works such as The Tomb of the Wrestlers (Le Tombeau des lutteurs) (1960) apparently responds to (but does not illustrate) Leon Cladel’s themes of unrequited love and stabbing one’s own heart with a dagger (Stotzfus, 2011, p. 174). Perhaps the stabbing occurs not only in instances of broken-hearted wrestlers (as in Cladel’s book), but when commercial artistic works don’t make the heart sing (or stabbing in the liedekijn tale, but this is less self-inflicted).


    Oh well. As Maso says, “Every rose pulses.” (Maso, 1995, p. 26). Remember to visit the liedekijn exhibition and make your pulsing heart sing.



    Artists and artworks:


    Magritte, René. The Tomb of the Wrestlers (Le Tombeau des lutteurs) (1960), Oil on canvas. Accessed via Bridgeman art: http://www.bridgemanart.com/asset/171571/Magritte-Rene-1898-1967/The-Tomb-of-the-Wrestlers-1960-oil-on-canvas/


    McEwen, Tim. Greener Pastures. http://greenerpasturescomic.blogspot.com.au/


    Murtard, Bruce. Bruce Mutard: graphic novelist & illustrator. http://brucemutard.com.au/


    Winchester, Katie. Katie Winchester: Animation-Illustration. http://kwanimation.net/ (it’s also her artwork on the left in the photo)



    Liedekijn book retailers:


    Impact Comics Canberra http://impactcomics.com.au/web/index.php or phone (02) 6248 7335


    All Star Comics Melbourne http://allstarcomics.com.au/ or phone (03) 9642 0071





    Maso, Carole. “An excerpt from “The Room lit by Roses””. Bomb, No. 73 (Fall, 2000), 108-111. Accessed via  JSTOR, 30 Mar. 2013.


    Maso, Carole. “Carole Maso: An Essay”. The American Poetry Review 24.2 (Mar/Apr 1995), 26. Accessed via  JSTOR, 30 Mar. 2013.


    Stoltzfus, Ben. “Magritte, Cladel, and the tomb of the wrestlers: roses, daggers, and love in interarts discourse.” symploke 19.1-2 (2011): 173-190. Accessed via Literature Resource Center, 30 Mar. 2013.


    Thomson, Gavin. “Liedekijn – Exhibition opening night!”. (29 Mar. 2013). Retrieved from http://sketchbookscribbles.com/liedekijn-exhibition-opening-night/ on 30 Mar. 2013.


    Thomson, Gavin. “Recap of the comicky ziney dinner night”. (30 Mar. 2013). Retrieved from http://sketchbookscribbles.com/recap-of-the-comicky-ziney-dinner-night/ on 30 Mar. 2013.