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I'm A Table

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I'm A Table

Katie ❀ Melbourne, Australia

dreamer ✧ crafter ✧ artist ✧ cook ✧ reader ✧ gardener ✧ collector ✧ list-maker ✧ Forest Girl
Why "I'm a Table"?


All Mori crafts & hobbies
art journalling
recipes & cooking
game reviews
books & book reviews
nature & weather

View the Archives

Works in Progress

GeoMushroom I

Grannyland Blanket

Swedish Christmas Shawl

Lammily Tank Top

Mixtro Monster

Polkadot Coathangers
(Set 3)

Kimono Lady Needlepoint

Couch Armrest Cover

Elements Thanks To

Percentage Bars Thanks To



November 27th, 2016

Recently, someone at work pointed out that there are only 6 weeks until the end of the year. Instead of getting stressed about everything I have in progress, I decided to set myself a little challenge. Before the end of the year, I'd like to finish:

* 3 books
* 2 paintings
* my zine
* walking 200 kms (12 kms to go)
* 2 craft projects
* my 2016 Hobonichi (catch up on blank pages)

I've been looking into Bullet Journalling lately. The system as a whole isn't for me, but I was inspired to make a 'bujo'-style tracker for my challenge. I didn't pretty it up too much, as I'm not going to keep it beyond the end of the challenge. For each day there are 6 squares, and if I did something towards any of the goals that day I get to fill it in. I haven't been able to do much as I've still been sick, but the tracker helps to remind me of what I have done, as well as keeping me motivated.

It's true, there were more than 6 weeks until the end of the year when I began, but it doesn't hurt to give myself a head start, does it? I also have another possible project coming up which would be quite exciting if I can be involved. I'll write more about that later!

November 15th, 2016

Art is Important


Today, I worked on my art for the first time in 2 months. I kept hesitating because I was worried I'd screw up the canvases. Because they might not come out like the image in my head. Because my art is different to other people's. Because I can't draw as well as other people.

Today was different though. I decided to be brave. As I worked, I was listening to some old cassette tapes. Weirdly, when the song Kids in America started playing, the events of the last week must have caught up with me. Normally I never cry, but cried then, for all of the decent people of the world. By the time the song ended, I knew what to do. I remembered showing a friend some of my paintings a few months ago. Among other comments, he said that looking at them made him happy.

That's what I want to do -- I want to make people happy. Something shifted in me. I worked all afternoon, made some steps on a painting that I'd been hesitating to make, and started a new one. I can't imagine letting those doubts get in my way now. They're nothing compared with what I need to do. I hope this means that good can come from bad, not just for me but for the whole world.

November 12th, 2016

My Hogwarts House


Yesterday, I finally created an account at Pottermore and found out my official Hogwarts House! I don't know why it took me so long to get around to it. I first started reading the books after the third one came out, so that makes it 1999. At the time, I was instantly drawn to Ravenclaw -- it fit my personality perfectly.

When the online quizzes and tests appeared, I did a couple and the result was always Ravenclaw, too. I was a dyed-in-the-wool Ravenclaw! Or was I? When chatting with Husband and some friends earlier this year, they said I struck them as being more of a Hufflepuff. Were the tests wrong, or perhaps I've changed?

About a month ago, I came across a sorting system based on personality psychology. It's quite complicated, and there's no quiz -- you have to read through the desciptions and decide which one fits you best. The site is here and I would recommend it as an interesting exercise if you're interested in psychology. The system is two-tiered. Your Primary sort is based on your value system: why you do the things you do. Your Secondary sort is your methods: how you achieve the things you want to do. It also explains the concepts of Modelling and Performing.

Choosing my House for the Secondary sort was easy: it was Ravenclaw far and away above the others. I had a very hard time choosing a House for the Primary sort, however. In the end, I tentatively chose Hufflepuff first, with Ravenclaw a close second.

While this exercise and learning more about the psychology-based sorting system was very interesting, it left me even more confused than before. Can you be a RavenclawxHufflepuff? That's why I decided to join Pottermore, do the sorting quiz there and get the 'official' truth. Which is: I'm a proud Hufflepuff!

It wasn't much of a surprise actually, when I think back on the last 15 years. I've changed in many ways. Learning and knowledge are still very important to me, but so is community and supporting others. (The rise of the internet is probably partly the reason for that.) In the last 3 years especially, since buying our house, gardening and plants have become a new and passionate hobby for me. That, more than anything else, is probably the reason my friends now think of me as a Hufflepuff!

I am very happy to be a Hufflepuff, as I think it suits my personality the way it is now. And who knows, perhaps I would have been the student to build bridges between the Houses and show that Hufflepuffs aren't "duffers" after all! There's only one drawback to being a Hufflepuff. The House colours -- yellow and black -- are the same as a football team here in Melbourne. None of the other House's colours suffer from that problem. I suppose that if I ever want to deck myself out in Hufflepuff regalia, I will have to make sure the crest with the badger is clearly visible. I don't mind though, because the badger is the most adorable and foresty of all the animals!

I actually think that if I lived in the Harry Potter universe, I would have been a Ravenclaw. If I'd been admitted to Hogwarts at the age of 11, where would the Sorting Hat have put me? I was such a strong Ravenclaw back then. If the hat had given me a choice between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, I would certainly have chosen Ravenclaw. Now, I would choose Hufflepuff. And J. K. Rowling agrees.

TL;DR I'm a Hufflepuff!

November 8th, 2016

My October


It feels a little late to do my monthly update one week into the next month, but I'll forge ahead anyway. I didn't do very much last month, as I've had a virus which left me with constant headaches and feeling tired. So there's not much to share anyway. However, I did some preparation for a few blog posts, so there's more coming up soon.

Spring this year has been a little wetter than normal, which the plants love, so my garden is doing well, in the main. Despite being sick, I've had a few lovely times. My best friend surprised me with this amazing Pikachu backpack that she sewed just for me!

Of course, I wore it to PAX, the computer game and board game expo. Unfortunately we weren't able to spend the whole day there as Husband came down suddenly sick, but I did buy these two games on impulse:

What I've been knitting ...
I decided to concentrate a bit more on finishing old craft projects, and the one I've chosen first is a set of 3 coathanger covers with a polkadot theme. I suppose I'd finish it much quicker if I just made one, but then I'd only have 1/3 of the satisfaction! I've finished the first cover and started the second one. This one is in a simple slip stitch. I thought I would also keep the colour theme consistent as I have quite a bit of the blue yarn in my knitting bag to use up.

What I've been drawing ...
Sometimes when I'm low on motivation, I get behind on my Hobonichi daily art journalling. On days when my motivation is high though, I try to go back to the earlier blank pages and do an extra drawing, partly for the practice and partly to catch up.

What I've been reading ...
A few days ago, I came across an old blog I'd written between 2010 and 2013. I always knew in the back of my mind that it was lingering somewhere on the internet, but last week I thought I'd have a look at it and decide what to do with it -- delete it, salvage some of the posts, etc. I ended up deciding not only to preserve it, but to revive it. It's a personal blog, so I'm not quite ready to link to it from here. However, it's a public blog, so you may end up finding it if you use some creative searching skills!....

My Dias de Muertos Altar
Ever since my Opa passed away, his framed photo has been the centrepiece of the altar every year. This year I added some Dutch items that I came across while I was unpacking, as well as a few things I found while on nature walks. For the first time this year, I also added the female figurine I made many years ago in ceramics class. I'm not sure why, to be honest. I've been thinking a lot more lately about feminism and why it's important, so perhaps that's why.

October 11th, 2016

The cherry tree is blossoming at the moment, and I feel like marking the occasion somehow. Last year I was too busy and didn't even get a chance to take photos before the blossoms fell, which was a little sad. On a whim, I decided to turn my lunch into a picnic.

I accompanied my leftover chicken stiry fry with baby cucumbers, a boiled egg, some dried fruit and nuts, and an orange.

The weather is particularly changeable in Spring (even more than normal!) but thankfully it cleared a little by lunchtime. The tree is still too small to sit under, but sitting next to it was perfectly adequate.

In Japan, sakura are the essential symbol of the transience of beauty, and a reminder of the passing away of all things. However as I sat, I was thinking of the future and new growth. Of the cherries that will grow later in Summer, and what the tree will look like in coming years.

This is one of my favourite parts of gardening -- imagining, if all goes well, how the plants will grow, how they will experience the seasons and my part in keeping them well-maintained and happy.

October 5th, 2016

Springtime Salad


Last weekend, I did one of the things on my Springtime Mori by making a Spring-themed salad for lunch. I didn't use a recipe, but was inspired by what I saw at the supermarket. The first thing I saw were some adorable button mushrooms, which I put in whole. What a shame it would be to cut them up!

I also added thinly sliced cucumber and red onion, ham, ricotta cheese and rocket. I very much wanted to add some fresh strawberries, but there has been some controversy around the price of berries in Australia lately (I'm not sure on the details) and some supermarkets have stopped selling them. So I settled for some dried cranberries. It really makes me think I should look into growing my own berries, though!

Husband whipped up a delicious dressing with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and a few other things.

The salad was delicious and just perfect for the beginning of Spring. The only thing I would have changed was to perhaps soak the cranberries in juice for a while to plumpen them up. Next time I'd like to try something with asparagus, I think.

October 2nd, 2016

My September


It's Spring here in the southern half of the world. The days are longer, the trees are waking up, and the cat spends his mornings lazing in the sun. It's taken a while for the weather to warm up -- even now there are just as many cold and rainy days as Spring-like ones. As inspiring as Spring is, I'm not one to love the Summer heat, so I'm enjoying the cooler days while I can. I've been working on lots of creative activities, though not being able to focus on any one thing on particular, so I feel like I haven't made much progress.

This coming month is Inktober, and also the next round of Creative Sprint. I know many people love Inktober and I'm looking forward to seeing their work, but I have decided to participate in Creative Sprint. Because of my dilemma above, and the ridiculously long list of WIPs I have at the moment, I have decided to focus on working on current projects of all types. I will try to post my progress on my Instagram every day, and also weekly updates here on the blog. But now, back to what I did in September...

What I've been painting ...
There are so many interesting e-courses out there, many free, that it could take me a lifetime to get through them all. I finished the Fluent Self Journalling course, and began Tara Leaver's 10 Days to Making Art You Love course. The first assignment is to do a very simple, quick landscape in any medium you like. I've been very inspired by dreams lately, so I did this dreamlike scape, like something from a primitive myth or an alien world.

What I've been visiting ...
During the month I was very busy with events. Well, one event per week is 'busy' for me, I have to admit! I went out of my anxiety comfort zone and went alone to the Bad Girls' Club exhibition, at a pub in the trendy part of town. There was so much amazing, feminist work there, and I met up with my new friend, one of the artists. I was very inspired and spent all my spare time in the next few weeks writing for my zine, designing plushies, etc.

Bad Girl Zine and bottle shrine work by @possumparcel

What I've been reading ...
I had a renewed interest in reading last month, mostly sticking to the older junior and young adult books that I found while unpacking. There's a library near my new work, and I've set myself a little challenge of reading and donating 12 books before I join. My favourite, which I remember from my childhood, was Helen Keller's Teacher, about the life of Annie Sullivan, who taught Helen Keller to communicate and was by her side most of her life.

Selections from Instagram
With clearer weather, I've had a chance to go for walks before work in the mornings. After rainy nights, the early morning sunlight has a soft, hazy feel to it, and even in the city there are some beautiful shots to be had -- especially when water is involved. It seems I've had a fascination with reflections lately.

The Native Mint plant in my garden. It smells divine, but I haven't yet been able to find out if it's edible:

September 25th, 2016

It's Re-potting Time


It's that time of year -- early Spring -- new growth is beginning to sprout, but it's not yet time for flowers or fruit. I had 3 fuchsia cuttings that I started a few months ago when I pruned the mother shrub. They grow so strongly in my garden and it's a satisfying experience to work with them.

Nice, strong roots have developed:

I also had a bamboo cutting that was ready to pot. The Daiso pots that I've been collecting for the last few years look strange with actual dirt in them!

This strange fellow is a fuchsia cutting I took last year. I didn't think a cutting with such a thick circumference would take, but it's done very well, even if it looks a little lopsided! I needed to wire it to keep it from falling out of the pot. Even though I don't work with bonsai much anymore, I learned some valuable techniques that I can use with normal plants. For some reason I forgot to take a photo of him in his new pot, but it looks basically the same, just larger! I also pruned off a few of the dead twigs in the hopes it will grow bushier. If I were Adam of Adam Ask Why, most of it would be lopped off, but I'm not that brave!

Even the Fuchsia can have beautiful bark. Well, I hope that's how it's supposed to look!

While I was working, I noticed some new growth in the offcuts from the rose bushes that I'd pruned a few months ago. It seems some of them had their bases in the water pooling in the bottom of the wheelbarrow and had started to grow.

They wanted to live, and who am I to argue? So I put them in the jars recently vacated by the fuchsias. One was so tall I had to work my wiring techniques on it to stop it from falling over. I have no idea whether you can successfully grow roses from cuttings, but it's always fun to experiment.

Lastly, I fertilised the fruit trees. I took a tip from last week's episode of Vasili's Garden for improving fruit trees. The larger trees are doing very well, but the two we planted ourselves -- a cherry and an olive -- were not quite growing as well as I'd hoped. Vasili advised to spread mulch around the base of the trees, as the roots are still quite shallow and the grass can compete with the roots for nutrients. I also spread the fertiliser further out from the base of the trees, to encourage the roots to grow further.

I'm excited to find out the results of my work!

September 18th, 2016

Today marks 1 year since I started my first 101 Things in 1,001 Days list. I've been really enjoying it so far, though there are a few things I have learned and things I will do differently next time. I think I prefer this format to other goal-list-type things I have done before: like yearly goals, yearly themes or "30 Before Age 30". Of course, they are not that different, but I think the longer time period makes me feel less pressured. Also, 101 items is a good amount to cover all of my diverse hobbies and other things I'd like to do over the course of a few years.

I haven't completed many things from the list yet, but some of them are quite significant milestones that I'm proud of. I finished my conscript, which I'd been working on for nearly 20 years (blog post to come). I got a cat, and he's quite a fantastic cat! I unpacked all of my books, and made jam. I organised a party for a milestone birthday.

So far I have re-assessed the items on the list at least twice. I'm the kind of person whose interests change over time, becoming curious about new things and putting aside old ones along the way. For this reason, it's been important for me to take a flexible attitude and be willing to make changes. Otherwise I'd never complete the list! Not long after starting, I made a conscious decision to re-assess the entire list at least once every 6 months. I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of everything -- I just created a second tab to store these superceded ideas, as well as ideas for future lists.

For example, I'm no longer so interested in #50: Go Fruit Picking now that I have my own fruit trees to invest time and effort into. #93: Take my Mum to Womadelaide seems obsolete now, as I found out recently that she's no longer so enthusiastic about going. I originally put #44: Get A Massage Every Second Month as I wanted to take advantage of subsidised massages under my health insurance. It was going quite well until I found out that I can only have 3 per year, so I needed to re-think whether I was comfortable with that level of expenditure.

Aside from changing interests, there were a few things on the list that are probably no longer feasible for me to do. For example, #97: Visit the Open Gardens. The official Open Gardens scheme has closed down, though there are still private gardens to visit. #33: do NaNoWriMo was a dismal failure as November is an incredibly busy time of year for me. #53: Go Overseas -- might be more difficult to achieve now that I have a cat to care for.

⇒ Despite having the SMART Goals model hammered into me at work (Specific, Measurable, etc), I still put in several items that were vague and open to interpretation, such as #60 Have All The Basics Done In The Garden. At the time, I thought I'd go back in and list specific tasks that I wanted to do under that banner, but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet.
⇒ I wish I had put in more items that are one-offs and less that are "do such-and-such every month". While trying to develop regular habits is good, the 101 Things in 1,001 Days list is possibly not the best place for these. It's discouraging to look at the item on the list over and over, knowing you won't be able to tick it off until the very end of the 1,001 days.
⇒ Next time, I'd like to have more of a mix of big, small and medium-sized items. Having a good amount of small-sized items means that more items can be done satisfyingly sooner. One version of the Kanban workflow system from Japan classifies tasks into mouse, elephant and even blue whale sizes. It's a cute idea!

I've done several new things in the past year that aren't on the list, or things I've done before but never done them so well before. I saw a concert with music I love for the first time -- not just one, but two! I went to a fashion runway show. I changed my attitude to life and work which I think will serve me better in future. For the first time, I've started calling myself an Archivist. For the first time, I said to both friends and strangers, "I'm an artist." I've begun to realise more about my spirituality. And I've started a major new project which I'll talk about more in a future post -- when I'm ready! I think it's important to acknowledge these things which can't be conveniently written down in a list, or may have come along spontaneously but ended up being important milestones in my life.

Looking at my list and the items I've crossed off or are well into, gives me renewed motivation to continue. I'm looking forward to finishing it off and drawing up a new one, even though that's a long way off at the moment.

September 16th, 2016

Madman Anime Festival


A few weeks ago, I went to the inaugural Madman Anime Festival. Melbourne has been a bit lacking in anime conventions since Manifest ended in 2013, so I was happy when I saw that MadFest was on. Madman are the biggest distributor of anime and manga, as well as other independent films, in Australia, so they are in a good position to run a festival.

The festival space was smaller than I expected, but there were plenty of things to see and buy. I didn't attend any of the activities, but there seemed to be plenty to keep fans busy all day. I've been meaning to learn more in the world of anime and manga for several years now, and the intense, vibrant atmosphere was a good way to learn what's popular and what makes fans excited.

The main point of this post is to show off my purchases, so here they are:

I'm very interested at the moment in collecting stickers for my Hobonichi art diary, so I spent a lot of time loitering in the Artist Alley area. I bought some Pokemon stickers from Elking Art, and Pusheen stickers and some prints from two girls whose card I unfortunately didn't get:

I've recently started watching Sailor Moon (the original series) for the first time, so I was excited to pick up these badges and a keyring. There are also a pair of Tuxedo Mask earrings and a Totoro pair from Curious Emporium.

I couldn't resist this Pikachu plush, and the Hello Kitty is a gift for my Mum. I named the Pikachu Pickles.

I purchased a hand-crocheted Totoro for an embarrassingly low price from a stall whose card I also didn't get. The detail on this plushie is lovely. The Domo-kun and Beemo come from a mystery box that Husband bought. I got the pick of everything in it that was pink!

Finally, some manga/manwha I purchased from the $5 stall -- Platina and Metamo Kiss. I was hesitant to buy any full-price sets as it's always a risk with something you're not familiar with. If I like them, then I'll buy the rest at a later stage.

While the festival was relatively small, I preferred it over the larger ones which can become overwhelming. I hope it will continue next year, and also hopefully that I will know more about anime by then.

September 3rd, 2016

My August


August has been an incredibly busy month for me. I began my new job on the first of the month. I attended two events for the Melbourne Fashion Week Plus festival, going to a runway fashion show for the first time. There were birthdays, dinners and Pokemon catching days. I saw my two best friends more this month than I have in a long time, which was lovely. Work changed my roster and it's different every week, so I haven't been able to settle into much of a routine. Despite all this, I've been more inspired and had more of an urge to create than I have in a long time.

What I've been working on ...
I went through all of my crochet/knitting projects and re-arranged and re-prioritised them. I've been wanting to work on my monster plushies recently, and decided to start with this small yellow one. I haven't actually done much more progress on it, but at least it's easy for me to pick up when I have the time and inclination.

What I've been painting ...
One of my friends turned 40 years old, and I wanted to make her something special, so I painted her this painting. I had a 2-week deadline, and I had to work hard, but I finished it just in time. I'm quite proud of it -- it turned out exactly how I pictured it in my head. It refers to and event that happened over 15 years ago, and I hope it will convey how valuable her friendship is to me.

I was also spurred on to finish this painting which I began last year. It only needed a few finishing touches, but now I can add it to my finished works. (Of which, well, this is the first one that I haven't given away, so I have a sum total of one!)

What I've been making ...
I started a zine, my first in 7 years. It began as only a semi-serious thing, a reaction (or quiet rebellion, if you like?) to working full-time again. Then I met some amazing people at an event I went to, one of whom is also working on a zine right now, and I was incredibly inspired to commit to finishing it, as well as ideas for at least 2 more. I'm at the mock-up stage at the moment.

What I've been observing ...
Also, look at this! The fruit trees in my garden have started blossoming. This is a nectarine blossom, but flowers on the apricot and plum have also begun to burst open.

Selections from Instagram

August 3rd, 2016

My July


July has been a month of both continuity and change. As I wrote in my Winter Garden Update a few days ago, the weather has continued cold, though alternating between rainy and sunny days. Having finished the bulk of unpacking and tidying the house, I was starting to feel a little daunted at the many bits and pieces left over, until two new obsessions came along to distract me, which I'll explain below.

I started working full-time again this week. Of course that means I will have a lot less free time, but I'd still like to post in my blog 1-2 times a week and once a day on my Instagram. In reality though, it might take me a while to settle in to a routine again. So if you don't hear from me quite so frequently, that's why.

In truth, for the last couple of years I've had a second job (my only job for the last 6 months) in my friend's shop, so I'll actually be working 5-1/2 to 6 days a week again. Of course, I have mixed feelings about it -- it'll be nice to be earning money and being able to buy things again, but I'll miss all the free time I had and the things I got to do in that time. My priorities have changed in the last year, in regards to the relationship I'd like to have with work, money and free time. I'd like to touch on this in more detail one day soon.

What I've been playing ...
Two new games appeared on my radar this month, and I have to admit that both have impacted my life quite a bit in different ways. The first was Stardew Valley. This adorable farming simulator has been out on Steam since February, but Husband bought it for me on his account in the 20% off sale. I was hooked from Day 1. The 8-bit look and music are enchanting. The plethora of plants, trees, fruits, vegetables and animals are depicted right down to their accurate and visible growth rates. They're exciting to plant and watch grow. The seasons are also represented accurately with the trees and grass changing colour with each season, and snow in Winter. As you walk through the forest, you can hear the rustling of animals, and sometimes see birds, squirrels and more as you would in real life. I really do think this game would appeal to Mori Girls.

The game is not a casual one that turns into a tap-fest before long like other games I've played lately, but a full game with many facets. I've already racked up nearly 60 hours of gameplay, and haven't done even a quarter of the activities on offer. I can see myself being enchanted by it for a long time yet.

The second game I mentioned is ... you may be able to guess ... Pokémon Go. I won't write about it as I'm sure anyone who's interested has heard of it, and anyone who isn't interested is sick of hearing about it!

What I've been drawing ...
I'm please to report that I've been faithfully journalling in my Hobonichi Techo art diary nearly every night. On the couple of occasions that I did miss a night, I made up for it by doing a double page spread the next night. It's the best thing yet for motivating me to be creative every day.

What I've been dreaming of ...
I've been feeling very motivated to start turning my yard into a proper garden. Parts of it are wonderful, but other parts are quite embarrassing under-developed. Thankfully there are lots of ideas in my gardening magazines, and I've been writing down the ones that appeal to me most. I've also been spending time outside, just standing and trying to 'feel' the garden. I want to be in a space that's harmonious to be in, not one that's just had changes imposed on it. By the time the weather warms up and it's time for planting, I'll hopefully have a good idea of what I want to do.

Selections from Instagram

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