Planet Claire

some say she's from Mars

1 year on

by Claire 11/5/2009 12:59:00 AM

Well it’s been over a year,that’s terrible!  But I’ve finally managed to find the time to resurrect my blog, even installed Windows Live Writer since everyone raves about it I thought I’d better try it.

Now after all that I have nothing more to say :-|

I did just write a long post about publishing umbraco websites though if you’re at all interested.



Beautiful Mixed Media Art

by Claire 3/13/2008 1:59:00 AM

This is my Mum's art.

I remember as a child Mum used to draw quite a lot and my Uncle Alan used to paint sailing ships which I found endlessly fascinating.  Mum, like her brother is very talented artistically but bringing up a family & running a business came first for years, a familiar story!  She probably lacked confidence as well as time. 

Recently retired, she's started painting again.  She started out with acrylics, then took up watercolor, especially birds which she is very good at, and now has discovered a passion for the abstract.  She uses a lot of collage, mixed media, and really likes to experiment with pushing the boundaries.

I'm very proud of her - go check her out! 

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More fun, this time with tracing

by Claire 1/22/2008 8:08:00 AM

Had a shot at tracing A's face in Illustrator, a la

Not bad for a first attempt?  (She wanted purple hair!)

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My first attempt at drawing with a tablet

by Claire 1/21/2008 11:04:00 AM

From a photo I took of a friend's baby who was holding onto his mother's skirt & looking back up at me.

Then I tried adding some colour to his eyes.


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Chess partners wanted

by Claire 1/1/2008 6:20:00 AM

Want to play chess with me?

I've just recently started playing Ron, who's pretty decent at the game.  I know the rules but that's as far as it goes.  My goal is to beat Ron when he's sober (beat him 3 nights ago after a bottle of wine but that doesn't count). is a great site, I'd love to see you there!  (Send me a message if you add me as a friend because I won't get notified otherwise). 

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Dare we trust him?

by Claire 12/14/2007 7:22:00 AM

If Clive Hamilton is right, it's all looking good for Australia at the Climate Change Conference in Bali after Kevin Rudd gave his big speech yesterday.  According to an article just published on Crikey's website...

Rudd chose a lot of strong language which he knows will be used against him in the future if he fails to deliver.

"Australia now stands ready to assume its responsibility … Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation … one of the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenges of our age."

And he promised the assembled delegates that his Government is "prepared to take on the challenge, to do the hard work now and to deliver a sustainable future."

This is despite Kevin Rudd's much publicised and slightly worrying refusal to endorse a 25 to 40 per cent cut in 1990 greenhouse gases levels by 2020 until the Garnaut Report is delivered next year.

I want to trust him, I really do.... 

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Hot cooking tip of the week

by Claire 12/12/2007 7:20:00 AM

Sick of trying to mold patties into shape only to have them fall apart on the way to the pan, or worse still, half way through frying? 

Well go grab yourself some bulghur (cracked wheat) right now! 

Cook up some lentils in enough water to cover with assorted extras like carrot, zucchini, cumin, coriander, chilli, herbs fresh or dried.

When cooked enough & looking a little like porridge, throw in some bulghur & leave to cool.  The bulghur will swell up & absorb the extra liquid leaving a nicely moldable mixture.

Not quite as easy to shape as if using potato, but more interesting to eat, except if you can't handle gluten Undecided

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Fun ride around the river

by Claire 12/11/2007 4:55:00 AM

Yesterday we took the bikes & the dog down to Guildford with the intention of going for a half hour ride along the river & ending up cycling nearly 20km, it was great fun.  Very leisurely, perfect conditions (no hills, no flies, no blazing heat, no wind - what more could you ask for?)

Saffi ran most of the way (we discovered she can't bark at other dogs when she's running hard next to a bike!), and spent some of the time later riding in my basket.  The kids had the time of their lives, Owen peddling his too small bike (not ready to move up to the bigger one) like mad non stop.

Got onto Google Earth later & mapped our route, here it is.



Ramp up the pressure in Bali

by Claire 12/11/2007 12:36:00 AM

Please consider supporting these 2 Getup campaigns.

The first is a petition that Al Gore will present to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in a few days calling for "a visionary treaty to be completed, ratified and brought into effect everywhere in the world by 2010".

The second is Getup's "Climate Action Now" campaign.  This new government is showing signs of resisting short term action on climate change, as they have overruled the official Australian delegation's endorsement of a 25 to 40 per cent cut in 1990 greenhouse gases levels by 2020.  Instead they will wait until the release of the Climate Change Review Committee's Garnaut report in 6 months time.  Resistance is to be expected from the government of course, which is why we need to keep the pressure on.

Despite any misgivings you may have about Al Gore & Getup, they are out there in the public domain, and we are not, so I believe we must support them.


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Compact Outlook data files for better performance

by Claire 11/29/2007 5:41:00 AM

Here's something that I just discovered as I'm preparing to wipe my disk & make a clean start. Foot in mouth

I was about to backup my Outlook .pst data file (in Documents and Settings\...\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook) when I was shocked to discover how large it was, despite the fact that I'd cleaned out my email, deleted a whole load of stuff, and emptied the deleted folder.

Then I had a look in the settings & saw the "Compact Data File" option.  It took a while, but reduced the file to 1/8th of it's orginal size. 

To compact your data file, in Microsoft Outlook, go to Tools, Account Settings, Data Files, Settings, Compact Now. 

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