shopshoot logo - miljo shopshoot

29 Sept 2010

I've just completed my first shopshoot since returning from my holidays so I thought it was time to work on a blog footer using my new shopshoot logo.  I visited the miljo store down at Bondi last Saturday. It's filled with all sorts of Scandinavian goodies. I'm not posting the images from miljo until next week but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek today.

I've prepared 4 versions of the new shopshoot footer, 2 horizontal and 2 vertical, and I was hoping my blog readers would give me some feedback on which footer they prefer.

I know the more text heavy logo doesn't work on the horizontal footer, because you can't read the text, but what do you about the vertical lay-out?

I still need to tweek the alignment a little but Jess, the designer, thinks the more simple logo is more effective and funnily enough that's the one I worked on first.  She also suggested a brilliant compromise, which may well win out in the end.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please send them along.


Dark Chocolate Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies

27 Sept 2010

I'm not much of a cake or a dessert eater but I do like to eat something sweet after dinner. I call it having a sweet treat.

I decided to make some cookies last weekend and thought about oatmeal cookies. I downloaded a few recipes from the internet before I looked through my recipe file and remembered this recipe.

Of course I adapted the recipe. I left out the cinnamon, reduced the sugar and chocolate content then substituted coarsely chopped toasted macadamia nuts for the cranberries.

The recipe made 36 cookies so I kept half a dozen for me and I took the rest into work. We're quite short staffed at the moment so I thought the cookies would take a few days to be eaten.

If you're looking for a chewy cookie, then this recipe is not for you unless you reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. Either the cookies were very good or my workmates are greedy little piggies because when I checked the tin on Tuesday morning there was one lonely cookie left.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a sneak peek so until then,


In the Garden - Dungog Part I

24 Sept 2010

I've often written about my brother Farmer Andrew and his chickens. I'm not 100% sure but I think the current crop of chickens includes Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks and Black Australorps.

On Sunday morning I went down to the Chicken Hilton to say 'hello' to the ladies. I disturbed one of the Reds in the midst of egg production and she didn't take the intrusion kindly. As you can see, she shot me quite a look but still produced an egg for my breakfast.

Spring has just about sprung and the vegie patch was filled with goodies.

It was a bit too early for many of the flowers though. I found this gerbera at the end of it's season but still liked it's shape sufficiently to take a photograph.

I'll leave you with a final photograph from the garden.

It's been another busy week so I'm glad the weekend has arrived. Have a great weekend and I'll be back next week with some more goodies for you,



Gloucester Farmers Market

22 Sept 2010

I drove my new car up to Dungog about 10 days ago, the first time the car had left the city. It's ages since my last visit and the spring flowers were just about ready to bloom. No sooner had I arrived in Dungog than we were back in the car for the hours drive to Gloucester.

We arrived about an hour before the farmers market was due to close for the day. Farmer Andrew went looking for seedlings whilst I stalked the cute dogs. I so wish Farmer Andrew would get a puppy like this labrador. She was so cute and friendly and I'm sure she was perfectly behaved as well.

There was local honey for sale at the market as well as farm fresh apples, wagyu beef and lavender.

Oh and I forgot about the rabbits. When I was growing up in Brisbane you couldn't keep rabbits as pets due to the rabbit plague, so I still find rabbits as pets a bit of an odd concept.

And to make Farmer Andrew happy there were seedlings galore.

We left the markets carrying quite a few parcels and visions of something similar coming to Dungog one day.

I'll be back on Friday with some more images from my weekend away.

So until then,


Blood Orange Cake

20 Sept 2010

I know I've mentioned this before, but I learned to cook from the Margaret Fulton Cookbook, my 12th birthday present. A few years later the Margaret Fulton Cookery Course came out in 39 parts and it could be purchased from the news agent. For one of my birthdays my parents purchased a few of the course magazines and my favourite was Part 13, Butter Cakes. 

With a slight variation, this orange cake recipe comes straight from the magazine. The cake is based on the French quatre-quarts and is made with equal weights of eggs, butter, sugar and self raising flour plus the grated rind and juice of an orange. I used to make it all the time and it was my Uncle Philip's favourite cake. He died many years ago and after his death I stopped making the cake.

It's blood orange season here and out of curiosity, I wondered what the cake would taste like made with blood oranges rather than regular oranges.

It tasted delicious but I was careful not to add too much blood orange juice to the icing as I wanted the colour to be a pale orange not blood red!

I even made some candied blood orange and mandarin rind for decoration. There is no comparison between home made candied peel and the commercial variety. It tasted so good I've eaten it all, so I'll probably candy the rind for this year's Christmas cake.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I'll be back again on Wednesday so until then,


Hong Kong

17 Sept 2010

The internet was down earlier this evening so this post is going up a bit later then usual. I've done a load of washing, had dinner and done the washing up. Jamie Oliver is on the telly doing Venice and I'm on the laptop.

I thought I'd post some images from the last stop on my trip - Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a very popular tourist destination for Australians, so it wasn't my first visit and it probably won't be my last. I have a little tradition of staying somewhere really nice the last day of my holiday and chose the Mira Hotel. The hotel is suitably glamorous and after 2 weeks without a laptop, the flat screen interactive tv/pc had me in heaven. I was so jet lagged I was awake all night so it came in handy.

I took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong and then caught the Peak Tram for some skyline views of Hong Kong.

I went on a walk around the Central District of Hong Kong which is where the following images were taken. I hiked up the hill to visit the Man Mo Temple.

Something I'd not done on my previous visits.

I love the dust motes in this picture.

Along the way I visited the antiques district of Cat Street and Hollywood Road plus Ginseng Street of course. I photographed lots of interesting things, many of which I'd be reluctant to consume I might add.

I walked back down to Central via the Graham Street Markets.

At times it's a little hard to believe that you're in the heart of the financial capital of Asia.

I've always enjoyed street photography and no I don't ask people if I can take their photo. I observe from afar and quietly take my photo when the time is right. When is the time right? Somehow instinct tells you.

and my favourite water lilies.

The past week I've received a few sweet emails from my blog readers. Thank-you for your kind words of encouragement. It's lovely hearing that you enjoy my images and my little stories. 

It's been a long week and the weekend is now beckoning, so I'll close here.

I'll be back next week so until then,


Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

15 Sept 2010

Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? Well I do. I was at Circular Quay at one of the live sites watching the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games with a group of friends.

I was one of the band of volunteers at the Sydney Olympic Games and for 3 weeks I worked as part of the medical team. I started work at one of the training venues before moving to a competition venue. That's me in the picture below - a bit of a hot and sweaty mess - wearing the oh so attractive volunteers uniform.

It was such a special 2 weeks in Sydney. The trains ran on time; the weather was perfect every day bar the day of the mens road race; the harbour sparkled, the place looked immaculate and just like Disneyland, for that 2 weeks, Sydney was the happiest place in the world. Or at least that's how it felt.

It was funny looking back through my photo album because I found a copy of my schedule. Working as part of the medical team I covered handball, badminton and basketball. I was set a cracking schedule and as I was also trying to work at my day job, sometimes I'd work a 14 hour day.

It wasn't all work though. One day I met up with 2 girlfriends and we spent the day at Bondi, watching the beach volleyball. The sun shone, the music was pumping and we were surrounded by handsome young men so really the day was perfect.

I managed to score Athletics tickets so was in the stadium when Cathy Freeman won the 400 metre titles. The atmosphere truly was electric as Cathy was carried over the line in a wave of emotion.

Do you have any special memories of the Sydney Olympic Games?

I'll be back again on Friday and I'm not sure yet what I'll be posting so it will be a surprise to both you and me.

See you then,


Pecan Maple Friands

13 Sept 2010

I stumbled upon this recipe a while ago. As far as I can tell, a friand is exactly the same as the French financier - a delicate confection of butter, egg whites and ground nuts. This recipe uses ground pecans and I decided to toast the pecans before putting them into the food processor. 

I decided to make the friands in some pretty fluted tins, so if you do the same, this recipe should make about 20.

The cute gingham napkin is by fog linen work and the tray is from the Design Forum Shop in Helsinki. I took the friands into work a few weeks ago, keeping a few at home for myself. The combination of toasted pecans and maple syrup is a gorgeous one and they were very well received at work as well.

When I get the chance (and if I can find it) I'll scan the comments from the girls.

I'll be back again on Wednesday with a post that's a little different from the norm and it involves the Sydney Olympic Games, so until then,



10 Sept 2010

Do you remember this wedding I photographed? Well Ray plus family relocated to Zurich about 12 months ago and just before I arrived, welcomed a daughter to their family, Karolina. As I was so going to be in Paris, how could I not fly to Zurich to see the newest arrival?

I've been to Zurich before, but it was so long ago I don't remember a thing about it. I stayed in a hotel close to the waterfront and once I was organised walked from there to meet Ray, Mona and Karolina. We walked through the old town together and I decided to return early the next day to take some photos.

I stumbled upon an Indian festival in the old town and loved the vibrant colours.

I found lots of interesting alley ways and used up the last of my black and white film.

Zurich was having a bit of a heat wave so the young and (?) brave could be found diving from the bridge and this platform.

We went for a drive to Stein am Rhein. What a sweet place and what a pity we didn't have more time there.

How cute are baby Karolina's feet?

I'm driving to the country tomorrow to see Farmer Andrew so be prepared for some rural photos in the coming weeks.

Have a great weekend,


shopshoot logo design

8 Sept 2010

Do you remember a few months back, I asked for some help designing a new logo for my shopshoots? A few of my lovely blog readers offered to help me out. After a few emails from Alischa from Bespoke Press, I kind of realised all I wanted was a variation of my current logo. I was just about to fly overseas and decided to work on the concept when I returned. 

While I was away I received an email from Jessica Ruisan, a graphic design student. Jess offered to give designing the logo a go and so the process began. We exchanged many emails and Jess worked tirelessly on designs and variations of those designs.

This is what we came up with in the end - a horizontal and vertical variation of the logo to use on my shopshoot blogposts and on my portfolio.


We were about to start work on a 'proper' business card, when this flashcard appeared on my desk.

I'd seen this this post on eat, drink, chic a while back and thought, why don't we do a flashcard style business card. I emailed my idea to Jess, then worked on the text and this is the design she came up with.

I thought it was brilliant and couldn't wait to get the cards printed. I thought that moo minicards would be perfect for the task. I sent my order to them a few weeks ago and they arrived in the mail last week.

I prepared a few different designs and I think the flashcard design turned out really well. What do you think of them? Sorry the images are a bit grey but I shot the cards on a wet and dreary day last weekend and due to a minor computer crisis, my time has been spent retrieving files rather than editing images.

I'm really excited to be able to hand out my new business cards at my next shopshoot.

I'd like to thank Alischa for making me think properly about what I wanted and Jess, because without her work the logo and these shopshoot business cards would still be in the pipeline. Thanks once again Jess,

See you all again on Friday,

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