Posts Tagged ‘Beginning’

Bienvenue, 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Apologies for my recent lack of contact. The last few weeks have been particularly busy with completing my work for the exhibition, playing tour guide for my friend, Rachel, and my brother, Ben, and now Christmas and New Years adventures in Germany and the Netherlands. I am writing this from the loft of my second cousin’s house in Gouda (yes, like the cheese except with the correct Dutch pronunciation – Gcchhhowda.) To my left is a view of apartment blocks surrounded by a Dutch morning sky – grey, foggy and wet. No snow in sight. It seems that all of Europe has been hit by some sort of strange heat wave and snow has been rare this winter. Very disappointing but somewhat expected as I am here and hot weather seems to follow me where ever I go. I have now spent two snowless winters in Europe. I need to work on this.

So today is New Year’s Eve, the day when everyone is supposed to reflect on their past year, examine what they have achieved and what they need to put on their “To Do” list for the next year. We all know I love a good reflection so let’s do it.

This year really started for me in February when I moved to Paris. It is still hard to believe that I only have one month left of my year away. If I hadn’t planned on extending my stay I would now be in a state of complete and utter panic, depression and general Oh-Woe-Is-Me. I am still very nervous about my approaching trip back to Australia and Sydney to visit the French Embassy to ask for a second visa, but at least it is going to happen. I think I can grandly announce that this year has been the best year of my life thus far but how could it not be? I have lived in an amazing city, met awesome people, visited wonderful places and eaten some of the greatest food of my life. What’s not to like?

Next year I plan to continue this current way of living while also endeavouring to put more effort into my writing and ‘stuff’. When I first made my Zaum business cards, I kept my options open by declaring Zaum was a business for “Writing and stuff”. I am still trying to find out what that stuff is and how exactly to do it but my recent sock laboratory adventures have put a few ideas into my head. I have so much I want to do and try – I just need to work out how to do it. According to my horoscope in the Dutch tv magazine, the best time of the year for me to work out what I want to do with my career is from March to June of next year. Sounds like a plan.

So this reflection has become a bit of a pathetic thing but to be honest my stomach is grumbling and I want to go and eat some breakfast. At 10am I am expecting to hear the onslaught of hundreds of fireworks being set off. In the Netherlands, it is legal to purchase fireworks for a few days leading up to New Years and then legal to set them off between 10am and 2am on New Year’s Eve/Day. It is now 9.30am and apparently the existence of sunlight doesn’t put people off. Should be a fun day.

Happy New Year to all – I hope 2012 is exciting and fulfilling for everyone. I highly recommend running away to a foreign country and eating food for an entire year. It has worked out for me rather nicely.

And a special Happy Birthday to two of my most regular readers, Heather and Brendan. I hope people remember to say happy birthday amongst the happy new years.

Up and Etsy

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Yes folks, the time has come. I now have two of my sock creatures up for sale on my etsy store. Come one, come all, buy lots, buy all! Exciting times! Can’t wait to see how it goes…


Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

It’s my birthday!

Hooray! I turn into a 5 year old whenever my birthday comes around. I count down to it for at least a month, get so excited I can’t sleep (although it may have been thanks to the mexican food I ate last night this time…), and try and eat as much cake as physically possible on the day. I don’t know why I love it so much… I suppose I do love presents and the fact that I can act like a princess for the day and everyone has to be nice to me. But I think it is also the fact that, despite cynics who say “You’re only a day older than you were yesterday.”, it is a day in your life when you can reflect upon what you achieved that year and think about what exciting things will happen in the next. For me, I have quit a stable job and started my own business, learnt how to sew and fallen in love with socks. In my 26th year (yikes) I will live in Paris, improve my french and eat a hell of a lot of food. It’s all quite exciting and even though I haven’t yet managed to eat a single crumb of cake yet today, I’m quite happy.

You’ll be pleased to hear my dad bought me a stack of socks for my birthday – all with different colours, stripes, spots, shiny bits. Also I got a bag o’ buttons. So look out world – the Zaum Menagerie is coming to a store near you!

It’s Coming…

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

There is one thing that I look forward to every year – the arrival of Spring. There is something so wonderful about seeing the first buds arrive and suddenly gardens are full of bright flowers. I went for a morning walk today and as I stepped outside into my front garden I noticed the flowering plum has released its first blooms and there are freesias popping up. As I walked through Kings Park I saw my first kangaroo paw for the season. Very exciting.

Plum flower

Flowering plum.


Freesias – They may be weeds but they're pretty and smell damn good!

Perhaps I am a tad more excited than usual about the approaching season as it means my move to Paris is getting so much closer. 167 days to go. It’s remarkable how quickly it is passing.


Wednesday, July 28th, 2010


Today is six months since I officially declared Zaum open for business. Amazing! To be honest it feels like I have been doing this for a lot longer, but at the same time six months is a big number. I haven’t fallen in a ditch, I still have hair (and it’s still blonde) and while there have been a few tears it has also been a lot of fun.

In my first blog entry I listed a number of Zaum Plans that I hoped to achieve. Let’s see how I’m progressing…

  1. Write an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, stomach-hurtingly-funny blog – You bet I have! Best Blog Eva.
  2. Step into the world of Freelance Writing Well I do claim to be a freelance writer whenever someone asks. I have written copy for brochures, websites and display panels over the past six months and managed to get return business. Thank goodness for word of mouth.
  3. Write brilliant books – Less successful in this area but I’ve had plenty of ideas! I think this is a more appropriate task for next year when I actually have something interesting to write about.
  4. Learn how to sew – I didn’t realise I had set this as one of my goals and I have KICKED ARSE at this one! Have you seen my brilliant sock creatures? If that isn’t a sign of sewing talent, I don’t know what is.
  5. Prepare myself to move to France in 2011 – I have a plane ticket. I’m counting down. How much more prepared can one be 187 days before moving to France?
  6. Learn French – This is also in the works with my weekly chats with my new Parisian friend. Not only do I learn French, I’ve also made a new friend who likes eating cake! BRILLIANT.

So those were my goals and now that I have performed a six-month self-reflection, I can see that I am clearly the best person for the job as Zaum President. I should probably work on the “earning money” part of running a business but I have the “enjoy the experience” section down pat. Now on to the next six months! Should I set some new goals? Have I mentioned I hate goals? Just for fun, I’m going to call them my KPIs and have regular meetings with myself to check in on my progress.

  1. Create a sock creature menagerie and sell them for the big bucks. At least one has to be sold to someone who isn’t a friend or family member.
  2. Work towards getting some products (perhaps my sock creatures) in a shop.
  3. Get some more writing work that does NOT include university course descriptions. As much as I love my reliable University clients (thank you, thank you, thank you!) I need to escape the mind-numbing tedium of “Study at…” and “You will gain the skills and knowledge to…”
  4. Do some more art courses. I’d like to do woodwork…
  5. Get a French Travel/Work Visa with as little fuss as possible.
  6. Be leaving for France four days after Zaum’s anniversary.
  7. That makes me think I need to build up my blog readership so that people continue to read when I move to France, meaning more people will buy my award-winning book next year! YAY!

Sounds like a plan to me. The next six months suddenly look very exciting.

Chocolate calzone

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I share with you one of the most insane things I have ever eaten – A chocolate Calzone in Rome. It's full of chocolate. I almost cried, it was so good.

What Fun!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m so excited I can’t go to sleep. I have recently been toying with the idea of creating canvas prints but have discovered that it isn’t an economical option. But, my clever-head brother just demonstrated the ability to print onto material using our home printer! This is GREAT news! A whole world of possibilities has just opened up and I now have a goat printed on a piece of material! What more could a girl want?

Goat on material

He's too cute.

A Bit of Fun

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I have recently realised that it is already reaching the end of April, which means next month is May, which is the end of Autumn, so it will soon be winter and the middle of the year, which means my birthday isn’t far away and therefore spring is just around the corner, and soon it will be the end of the year and the start of 2011. And that is when I’m going to Paris. SO, I did a bit of a guesstimate and it appears there are approximately 285 days until I will be close to jumping on a plane. HOORAY! Then I will see this:

French flag


And this:


The craziest intersection in the world, complete with amazing monument

And lots of these:

Hot chocolate

Best... hot chocolate... ever.

Oh now I want to write about the world’s best hot chocolate but I think I need to dedicate time and a very long entry to that and I have work to do. So instead I will inform you that I have been alive for 8977 days which is equal to 215,928 hours. Plus a bit I suspect. Want to know your time of existence? Go to this great calculator and find your answer!

The Resinator Strikes Again!

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I did it! I made a resin bangle! And it is beautiful!!! I just took it out of the mould and I am beyond excited. It is perfectly shaped (except for the top edge that needs sanding but that’s all part of the process), a wonderful shade of red, and it worked!! My Z is also fantastic and perfectly represents Zaum. It’s even close to the Zaum colour. I am quite pleased with the results. Here you go – check them out for yourselves.

My resin bangle and letter Z

I'm one step closer to being a world-reknown resin jewellery maker! WOO!

Send it your orders. I’m currently specialising in red and one size fits all.

On The Side

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I have just started writing for a friend’s new website – The Drunken Correspondent. It sounds rude, it is a bit rude, but I’m attempting to add some class to the crass. Read my first entry about my favourite Thai restaurant here!

Resin Trials

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Ahh Fridays… I love how it feels ok to spend a Friday doing things that are slightly less-work related. Although I claim all creative activities as work related as on my business card I have declared my job description is “Writing and stuff” and these fall under the “and stuff” section. So this morning’s activities were definitely work related and could at some stage turn into billable hours. This morning I experimented with my resin! Here are the results:

Resin experiment

It's difficult to take a photo of clear and red resin in a red silicone mould

The picture is terrible (red silicone mould + red/clear resin + bad lighting = impossible) but you may be able to see that some of the shapes have been filled with resin! I made two batches of clear resin by combining liquid resin and a hardener and then trialled three different red pigments to see how they work. It was rather fun but sticky and messy and I need to learn how to clean my measuring cups. I also need some larger pots to mix the resin in. But that’s what trials are for – to learn what you need to do next time!

Fingers crossed it all works out and tomorrow lunch time I will hopefully have some fabulous resin shapes that I can sand and buff and give to people as birthday/wedding/engagement/easter presents. Ha ha! Resin for all – you cannot escape! I just met some ex-colleagues for lunch (mmm… laksa) and one of them called me Jess the Resinator. I thought it was brilliant. She’s a writer too. Pure genius.

Meanwhile, I’d like to introduce you all to my new hero, Cindy. She has a resin website called Resin Obsession and she has taught me everything I know. You, too, can learn how to make resin jewellery! Cindy will tell you all about it…