Thursday 29 March 2012

On Why Being A Barista Is Awesome

 So most of you probably know that I am a Barista by day. Lately I had a job opportunity fall through that was something totally different but more in line with what I have my degree in (Audio Engineering).

 I was not disappointed by this opportunity falling through but it has made me think about why I love my job so much. Sure it leaves me tired from being on my feet all day but there are so many great things that I love about my job.

  • Free coffee. An obvious bonus.
  • Being a Barista takes skill. And tonnes of practice. I have been making coffee for coming up 2 years and there is still so much for me to learn!
  • I am some peoples favourite Barista. This makes me happy, when customers ask me specifically to make their coffee, or that theirs was especially yummy. Best of all, I love it when people come back. 
  •  Coffee Loyalty Systems. Ours in particular. We keep the card at the cafe with the customers name. Every 10th coffee is free. I love that I can learn peoples names and remember their coffees. I love how excited customers get when they have a free coffee. 
  • My memory for peoples names and coffees is for some reason super awesome. I often have a customers coffee ready by the time they get to the cash register because I have seen them pull up in their car and know their usual. 
  • I get to know customers. I know some of their stories, what they do during the weekends and the occasional happy or sad event they are going through. I enjoy being the sympathetic ear and giving them a smile.
  • Did I mention free coffee?
  • My cafe has the flexibility to bless people, if they are having a rough day or week or their card declines then why not give them a free coffee? Now that is something you don't see many other places. And surprisingly we haven't had anyone take advantage either. They are usually blown away. This makes me happy.
  • The smell. Mmmmmmm.
  • I get to train people. I enjoy teaching willing students, who listen and like to ask questions, even when I don't know all the answers and am nowhere close to being an expert. I love to share little tips and tricks I have learnt along the way. 
  • I love the feeling of being busy and having a list of coffees in front of me. I get in the zone and feel like an octopus because my arms are flying on all directions. Multitasking Queen. At your service. 
  • I love the fact that Hospitality is an act of service. I am serving people. Helping people.
  • Criticism cuts me deep but I think about it a lot and whatever it is I am being criticized for usually never happens again. I don't love it but it is useful and helps me grow. 
  • I love to make patterns on coffee. I am by no means perfect but every now and then I am stoked with what I produce. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, I love my job for many more reasons. These are just a few things that make me proud to do what I do.  

*Those photos up the top there? My coffee art. A couple I snapped on my phone before some lucky patron got to drink it :)
** Linking up with Our Creative Spaces

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Desk Revealio!

Not bad for a $10 garage sale bargain!
I must stress that a majority of this was completed by my darling Dave but I still put in some (wo)man hours...

Re-attaching the hinges
Inside - the doors and drawer are functional!

Close up of that cool bow

Some of my wallpaper samples line the shelves

How awesome is it looking?

A few people asked me if I am going to sell it. The answer - nope! It is now my new sewing table!

My new wee sewing nook

This is our pink room. Our landlord painted it for his baby girl one weekend. It is a weird 3rd bedroom because it contains the back door. I would class it as a study/office.
It used to be Dave's Man Cave with a sofa bed for visitors but we rearranged the room and it is now what Dave likes to call a 'Man and Wife Cave'.
To the left - Daves recording setup, to the right - my sewing nook.

My upcycled craft box and my wallpaper books with one of my many gilt mirrors.

Dave's sweet geek setup.

Sorry for the picture heavy blog post, I enjoy showing off our little home-for-now.

Enjoy your week, autumn has well and truly set in here in Christchurch, there is that cold chill in the air and the mornings are oh so dark.


Saturday 17 March 2012

A Happy St Patricks Day

All green
Happy St Patricks everyone! I have a question... Who celebrates St Patricks Day? Irish/UK settled areas? Anyone wanting an excuse to party? I know I could type this into the google machine but I want other answers. 

Anyway, today we got some super awesome bargains from a closing down sale at Guthrie Bowron (a paint/wallpaper store). Sadly the store is unsafe and they needed to get rid of excess stock.

I found these awesome sample books of different wallpaper collections! There are hundreds of pages of real wallpaper samples that I can use for so many crafty things! 

Examples.... Birthday cards, wrapping paper, drawer lining, scrapbooking, decoupage and a million other things.

Here are some of my favourite pages: 
Book 1 - I was sold from the title

My favourite of the lot I think

I love Damask

Pretty ornate gold trims

More gold and cream

Shiny and matte together

A heap of black and white

So fancy!
So I have no excuse not to make you a birthday card, let me know if you want one!

Another crafty project I undertook was a stencil. A wee while back Dave and I were super into stencils and making 2 toned one etc and I recently dug out our folder full of stencils. 

The company that supplies coffee at my cafe has re-branded itself and has a new logo. It is a shield design with 2 lions with a coffee cup inside the shield. I saw the potential and ta-da!

The stencil all ready

The result, a bit of a fail with the non-crisp lines but you get the idea

If I had done a better job at spraying this it would look epic. I blame the paint can running low.

I am pretty proud of myself for cutting through corrugated cardboard. Harder than it looks!

So enjoy this sunny St Patricks day, I might eat potatoes for dinner :)


Saturday 10 March 2012

Cake Decorating Attempt #1

A few weeks ago I went to a twilight garage sale the Salvation Army had in my suburb and picked up a plastic bag full of antique piping tubes and tips for $5! I haven't done too much cake decoration but I am interested in learning so lately I have been having a play.

My piping gun and some of the nozzles

 I made a plain chocolate cake and iced it with whipped ganache then used vanilla buttercream to pipe the decorations.

It was for Dave, for obvious reasons
My attempt at wee flower things and a ruffle

Pretty ruffle

It looks like some sort of medical equipment

Hard at work
 So obviously there is a lot for me to learn, but it is fun, and we enjoyed eating the cake!

Sunday 4 March 2012

Sunday Bargains

A few crafty goings on this week, my quilt has made progress! Alas, it is smaller than I had hoped, I only had a pillowcase worth of material for some of the squares, so I am being creative!

But more on that later. On todays agenda is the cool bargains Dave and I bought.

Only one of these things is from an op-shop but the others were heavily discounted so they totally count.

Okay so first up is this awesome tray with a map of Canada on it.

Pretty cool ay!

It now hangs in our entrance-way. The background is matte silver and the outlines are shiny silver so it gives a cool effect. Total cost - $3.00 from the Eco Shed.

Next up are two cool pictures of old keys.
Key #1

Key #2

These now hang in an old frame we have had for years.
These were $12 each from a cool gift shop in Dressmart.

Finally a sign that suits us well here in Christchurch, as well as our love of a good coffee.
It now proudly hangs in our kitchen. It cost $11 from the same gift shop.

And to end this post here is some paper bunting hung on my kitchen window.