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Commit No Nuisance event at La De Da-the short of it

June 27, 2014  •  24 Comments

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Tonight we Humans of the Brochure were invited to come and see 2 teams of artists go head to head in Commit No Nuisance battle. 

While the artists were creating their magic , we were fed well by La De Da

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Drinks were plentiful!

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My mocktail was spot-on.  I did not feel like I was missing out at all.

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We were entertained by beat-boxer Keeegz;

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heard some energetic raps by hiphop artists Jemist and Ender III 

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and mellowed out to the hypnotic sound of Toggle.

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La De Da, a cocktail bar and function room, is above Haha Bar in Belconnen.  Its furniture has been created by local designer Tom Skeehan and the art on the walls is by New Zealand’s Erin Forsyth.

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Humans catching up with each other:

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The start of the art:

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The vision is emerging:

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The evening had a fantastic vibe!

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My last glimpse of the art as I left.

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I was not able to stay to see who won, but I heard that the team that used black and white came through with the goods this time.  I never knew things like this even happened.  It is a great idea!
To find out more about the artists I saw and to find out more about Commit No Nuisance visit : http://www.gooddesignclub.com/2014/06/16/commit-no-nuisance-exclusive-101-humans-round/


Parliament House- the short of it

June 25, 2014  •  6 Comments

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On Sunday afternoon the Humans of the Brochure were thrilled to be invited to go on a behind the scenes tour of Parliament House in Canberra.  Our guide, Shane Ryan brought the halls to life with his anecdotes and by pointing out little details that we would have missed.

This is the largest tapestry in Australia and it hangs at the very back of the Great Hall.  It depicts a eucalypt forest from Shoalhaven and took over 2 years to complete.
Halley’s Comet and a cockatoo are hiding in there! 

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We ventured down to the basement where, according to Shane: ‘the non-contentious things happen’.  The basement is huge.  There are even street names and the hallways are large enough for the electric cars that zip around.  We did not see any on our tour, however.

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We filed into each of the camera rooms for Parliament which are run by robotics.  Human staff control which camera is going live and make sure the focus is spot-on before letting the video stream live.

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When Question Time is in session, the camera room requires 4 operators.  The amount of buttons and cameras in constant use made my head spin.

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Next we went up to one of the 17 courtyards and met Paul Janssen, the long time landscaper of Parliament House.  Seriously, Paul looks just like Steve Irwin!  33 hectares of gardens exist in Parliament House. 

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I believe he said that 17 landscapers are employed to keep the gardens up to scratch.
Pesticides are not used to kill pest, rather predatory insects are brought in and introduced to the gardens to combat  pests.  I thought that was a fabulous little nugget of information!

This is the Prime Minister’s courtyard:

So cameras had to be put away at this point, but you can see some great images of the following on the website at the bottom of the article.

We walked past all the offices of our current politicians. 
The President of the Senate has the biggest office, the Speaker has the second largest, and our Prime Minister works out of the third largest office. 

The most secret room in the house is the super-secure Cabinet room, opposite the Prime Minister’s office.  It has no windows.

The Member’s Hall in the core of the building is an example of the thought and symbolism that  is evident throughout the design of Parliament House.  
The centrepiece is a water feature which provides white noise to keep parliamentarian’s conversations discreet whilst at the same time is somehow a still pool; clearly reflecting the flag that flies far above it.  The apex of the pool has been left hollow so no one person can stand in the very centre.

These are some of the artworks in the Mural Hall which overlooks the water feature below:

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We went to the top floor and walked out onto the area outside just under the flag where the gentlemen who maintain our flag were waiting for us.

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The flag is 20 kg and MASSIVE!  Changing the flag is time-consuming and a little perilous! 

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They had an awesome surprise for us.  We were able to unfurl and hold out the flag that replaced the old one a couple days ago now.  It was an amazing moment. 

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We spontaneously broke out into our National Anthem.  Here it is below.  :)

To finish we were taken to the staff dining room for afternoon tea.

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I was surprised at the attention to detail and meaning that I saw throughout the whole of Parliament House.  So much thought has gone into it.  It is a place for all us Aussies to be proud of. 

I was also surprised by the emotions it brought out in me.  I felt really patriotic!
Go and visit Parliament House yourself.  There are a range of tours.  I am taking the kids these holidays! http://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Planning_a_visit


Bentspoke Brewery- the short of it.

June 16, 2014  •  47 Comments

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The Humans of the Brochure were invited to go on a taste-and-see tour of Bentspoke Brewery in Braddon this evening.
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Unsurprisingly, it was one of our best attended events thus far.  :)  I rarely drink and would know nothing about beer, so if you are hoping for a review based on beer and cider tastings, sorry!!
The uber-new Bentspoke Brewery is a bar, micro brewery and restaurant with highly regarded and established brewer Richard Watkins and his partner Tracy at the helm.

We walked into the pub part of Bentspoke and went straight upstairs to what looks like a European-style beer hall where the long tables were already full of happy customers.

 Here we are taking notes as Richard and Tracy tell us about their brews:

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When you go, take time to look at all the little details in the décor that link this space’s name with what it does.  Richard and Tracy are keen cyclists.

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The 6 fresh beers on tap are unique in comparison to what most other brewers are doing.  The Barley Griffin ( see what he did there?) an oregano infused beer is one of the showcased beers on tap.
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Crankshaft has a lychee fragrance that I could smell.  It is currently their biggest seller.
The Dick Tracy is a ‘fruity nutty’ beer they have named after themselves.  Who is the fruity and who is the nutty?  Get to Bentspoke and find out over a pint.  :)

With an 18 tap potential, there are plans to brew more new beers soon

Richard talked to us about cider.  It is a palate cleanser.
Lots of ciders are back-sweetened with apple juice as they have been over-fermented and have no sweetness of their own. Bentspoke does not ferment its cider dry but ensures that it retains the sweetness and the apple flavour.
They use Granny Smith apples for tartness and Red Delicious for sweetness.
Richard told us:
'The secret to a good beer is getting the hops right. Not too sweet, not too bitter.'

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Dan Watters becomes animated as he talks about the homegrown brews here:
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The food was awesome too…..but it needed to be photographed first:

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So moreish.

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Ploughman’s platter with pork pie.  I didn’t get to taste the pie, but everything else on that plate is spot on.  No two flavour sensations  were the same.  I loved the crusty chunks of bread we had to tear into.  It was an interactive communal eating experience.  The best type.

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Hot wings with malted blue cheese sauce.  The wings had a crunchy crust and were exquisitely juicy inside.  The blue cheese sauce; so tangy and smooth.
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The chips were just fantastic!  The crunchy crust; I don’t know what it was but I seriously want to break in to their vault and get the recipe!!!
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Cheese platter with cider-pickled onions and quince paste.  More of the bread chunks!  Best!

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Richard and Tracy showed us where the magic happens upstairs where  the big tanks hold 2500 thousand litres or 5000 pints.
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The beer ferments 7 days, then it is chilled down and the yeast settles down to the bottom.
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The sacks that hold the ingredients are put to good use:

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More examples of how Bentspoke Brewery incorporates bicycle ‘stuff’ into its décor. 

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Check out the light.  Take a real good look:

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And see those staircase railings?  They double as pipes that carry the beer downstairs.  It is a real wow factor to know that the beer you are drinking is being made on site.  And to have it all on display, happening around you gives the place a real buzz.  Like being in a  bee hive!

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I love all the exposed pipes.  This is downstairs in the pub space:

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What a great night!  Bentspoke is family friendly - there were several kids there eating dinner with their parents.  The place was packed and the vibe was warm and friendly.  You will find Bentspoke Brewery on the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets in Braddon.  I cannot see a contact number for them but they can take 170 people comfortably inside and have outdoor seating as well.


Questacon and our VIP trip to Mars- the short of it

June 14, 2014  •  4 Comments


Not even our sadness that the rain drowned out the possibility of going up in a hot air balloon this morning could keep us away from Questacon.  (I hope Nicole from Visit Canberra is noting my improvement in the art of the selfie :) )

Our hosts had gracious opened their doors two hours before regular business hours so we Humans of the Brochure could get an up-close look at some of their exhibitions and catch a show.  Walking into the building felt like coming home.  In the 2 years before the 9 yr old started school, we visited every single gallery in Questacon every single Thursday.  I miss my Thursday visits.


We got in the doors just as the Balloonatic show was starting so we grabbed a super- quick facial injury from Dr Scar.  Her gore effects were incredibly realistic.  
 

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I got suspicious looks from people all morning, as I walked alongside my bruised daughter.

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Once inside the theatre for the Balloonatic, we were informed by our pilot that in fact we WERE taking a balloon flight…. to Mars!

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Here he is showing us the iddy-biddy flame that would apparently be sustaining our flight. 

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Our Pilot got a volunteer to help reveal our mode of transport to Mars.  Obviously Visit Canberra and Questacon have spared no expense for their favourite Humans.

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Getting another volunteer ready to blow up the backup vehicle.

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Liquid helium time!!

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Balloonatic was a highly entertaining half hour with much audience participation and hands -on learning.  My favourite moment in the show is in the video below but don’t show your kids if you plan on going!!  Spoiler alert!!!

After narrowly escaping a future in Mars, we checked out the Gravitram- a kinetic sculpture on the way to our tasty breakfast at the cafe.

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The other Humans of the Brochure and their tiny Humans lining up in the café were all sporting propeller hats and/or facial injuries.

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Trevor’s toothpick injury was especially severe.  I think it may effect the type of blogging he does in the future. 

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Dr Yuri Blashtov , my 9 yr old’s favourite scientist from his preschool days was presenting a mini version of his very engaging Boom! Crash! Bang! Rockets show.  I could listen to that accent all day long.

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At the H2O gallery a staff member explained a little about the Meander exhibit- two large moveable panels which demonstrate how water flows across either horizontal or steep terrain.

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 The very impressive Hydrotram sculpture represents the water-cycle; from thunderstorms at the top all the way down to how rainfall impacts the earth. 

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Next door at the Excite gallery  both Kara and I did the 6 meter Free Fall. You can see me in action below.  ( I wasn’t very brave.  It took them three goes of counting to 3 for me to let go). 

Here is Kara at the Jellyfish Vortex- using air pressure and mist to bend the ribbons above her.

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We didn’t go into all  of Questacon’s galleries and areas of exploration today, but trust me- there is something there  to inspire every child as well as YOUR inner child.  Your little grey cells will be hopping!  

New exhibits appear regularly and the shows change also.  The Q shop stocks fantastically innovative toys that will get kids off the internet and into creative mode.
Get to Questacon if you are a local!  The 2 year  membership is the best value for money.  Sooo worth it!  If you aren’t a local, set aside at least 3 hours on one of your days for a visit.


Choose your own adventure- The Poacher's Way

June 13, 2014  •  4 Comments

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The Humans of the Brochure attended the  Poacher’s Way function tonight out at Poacher’s Pantry, a short drive out of Canberra.

Poacher’s Pantry is a smokehouse, restaurant and wedding venue and I assumed that for the Poacher’s Way event, we would be learning about their ‘way of life’.  Silly me.

Poacher’s Way is actually a collective of regional “artists, chefs, winemakers, galleries and rural retreats”.  (quote borrowed from the Poacher’s Way website)  Each unique, memorable and inspiring in their own right- these businesses are linked together by a passion for what they do. 

(Here is a Human Brochure grappling with a paper brochure:)

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In fact many of the people we met tonight left their corporate jobs to follow their creative dream. Susan Bruce from Poacher’s Pantry told me, ‘Poacher’s Way is a 12 months of the year experience’,   There is so much to be part of and to experience.

Our evening was a just  tantalizing glimpse into the eclectic genius of the businesses that make up Poacher’s Way.

We sampled some of the delicious tastes from Poacher’s pantry itself. http://www.poacherspantry.com.au/

Lamb Shoulder tarts:

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Duck Pancakes with Hoisin Sauce:

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There was an incredible edible (!!!) garden created by Mel and Hanns.  Well, actually by the time my camera found it, quite a bit of it had been eaten!

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One of the culprits demolishing the edible art:

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I  didn’t get a chance to talk to the representatives from Silo bakery, but I tasted some food from their table.  The bread is hearty and rich, while still being soft.  The cheese was bitey and I couldn’t stop eating it.  I felt like Heidi out of the novel Heidi.  :)  Silo Bakery is in Kingston, Canberra http://silobakery.com.au/

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While I didn’t meet every member of Poacher’s Way, I did chat to several.

The Bungendore Wood Works Gallery has such a variety of products.  Even wooden earrings! 

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They create one of-a-kind pieces as corporate gifts.  The Governor General once ordered a gift for the Pope from them.  The Gallery is housed in a gorgeous building if memory serves correctly.  And breakfast in their Café Wood Works is delicious and a necessary part of the visit.  http://www.bungendorewoodworks.com.au/

Also in Murrumbateman is Country Guesthouse Schonegg .  I am already in love with this place.  Schonegg is Swiss German for ‘pretty corner’.  They truly are in a pretty corner of the world.  Adventurers can base themselves here as a gateway to other Poacher’s Way experiences, or you can just come for a spa weekend.

Evelyn from Country Guesthouse Schonegg meets Erna, our 101 selfie queen.  :) image

Personally, I am going to go there for the Black Forest pancakes.  Who’s in?  http://www.schonegg.com.au/

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Robyn Rowe Chocolate is based in Murrumbateman too.

Robyn studied chocolate making in Belgium.  She combines age-old European chocolate techniques with innovative Australian flavours sourced locally. 

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The chocolates are Fair Trade.  I loved the smooth texture of the different fillings. Lime Coconut Zing.  So good!!!

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Her Centenary chocolate for Canberra’s special birthday is sea salted caramel.

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There are no words for this Decadent Dollop Chocolate Sauce…..

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Robyn assured me that the 3 most important things when tempering chocolate are time, temperature and movement.  I am looking forward to going out to Murrumbateman so I can see her in action.  http://www.robynrowechocolates.com.au/

Old Saint Lukes Studio  is a pottery and gallery out at Gundaroo. Ian and Moraig McKenna are both gifted potters in their own right each  with very  unique styles.  Falling ash from their wood- fired kiln adheres itself to their ceramics creating amazing effects.

This pot lay on seashells on this side in the kiln…

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…and got the texture from falling ash on this side.  http://thepoachersway.com.au/host/old-st-lukes-studio/

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They keep Jolly Miller cider (made by local Ron Miller) on tap.

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The Crowes Restaurant’s chef Tim produces amazing food; I know- I sampled it.

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Tim’s Smoked Chilli Oil is a fantastic present idea for chilli lovers. 

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I wanted to buy the biggest bottle available of his Garlic Oil:

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Sam Burns, Jake and Dan from Two Before Ten in Canberra are passionate about being innovative with coffee.  They continue to experiment with how it can be served in fresh and exciting ways.

Tonight I tried their Cold Brewed Coffee.  So good!  This is where the Ground Coffee beans are soaked in water overnight.  Basically a steeping process.

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I also sampled a 101-a heady mix of Cold Brewed Coffee, Tequila and freshly squeezed apple juice. Refreshing!
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Travis downs a 101!
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Two Before Ten operates out of  Canberra House and are open for breakfast  from 6:30 am.  http://www.twobeforeten.com.au/

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This tiny taste of Poacher’s Way left the 101 Human Brochures buzzing.  Many of us are already planning our own little group jaunts out to each of those areas for day trips to explore further. 
Choose YOUR own adventure- the Poacher’s Way.  http://thepoachersway.com.au/home/

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