Thursday, December 25, 2008

Anton's: 'Purveyors of mighty fine clothing...'

Listening to: Panic, by The Smiths

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Anton's print advertisement from the back of the Melbourne, Spiegel Tent program.

I'm a sucker for collages incorporating Victorian/vintage imagery and science illustrations. The radiating sunburst holds it all together beautifully.

Yes, Anton's do sell mighty fine attire. The Melbourne Central shop is well worth a visit just for the decor and window display. Anton himself collects the new and vintage, object d' art and props. The staff are friendly and exceptionally well dressed. They sell more than suits and much of it has a vintage flavour. They do not have a website they are so old school!

Spot the (Sheer Relief) difference

Listening to: Dare you to move, by Switchfoot

Sheer Relief's packaging just got sexier so,
Spot the (Sheer Relief) difference/photo editing
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left: old pack from about 1-2 years ago, right: current packaging

From woman next door flight attendants with sensible heeled shoes (oxymoron?) to an Angelina Jolie look-alike with her pretty, fellow flight attendant in sexy heels and shorter skirts with suspiciously smooth, coltish legs. The new models are so sassy their identical, untucked neck scarves artfully billow inside the air port terminal. There was no noticable photo editing before and now there definitely is. So much so that the product itself is less accurately depicted. I can personally say and recommend it's the same reliable, tough, supportive hosiery but it hasn't gotten that more sheer! I still like the new pack in spite of all of these things. The old one was getting a bit dated.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Perky purple putty

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This is the header from the point of sale box of a product we sell. Looks pretty straight forward doesn't it, with cute happy faces added to enliven the product and make it feel more fun. It is fun actually :)

Ever played with silly putty? When explaining to customers what's inside the plastic eggs, I tell them it's silly putty but in a better colour. Stretch it, snap it, roll then bounce it. Silly putty is traditionally a strange flesh-like colour. It's just as well Bounce Putty isn't:

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You could NOT use this image if the product was flesh coloured could you? Oh nooooo sir.

Yes I have a filthy mind but if you see what I'm talking about then you do as well ;)

Odd Objects. Part 1: LED Santa Brooch

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Found at work amongst last year's Christmas decorations. In addition to his appropriately zombie-like, slightly zonked out expression* he has flashing LEDs in his beard. Are those silver balls on strings a metaphor for lost marbles? Discuss.

Thus begins a new entry label, odd objects, the perfect accompaniment to curious clippings.

* He looks how we feel at the end of serving hundreds of people all day, particularly on the weekend. Coming in to work this morning I felt for an instant like I was in a zombie film (recently watched 28 Days Later which I highly recommend), with all these people rushing in a very definite direction which happened to be mine.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Body Washes versus Shampoos and more

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Body care and beauty questions answered, myths dispelled and snake oil - or synthetic venom - revealed for what it really is, with Science!(TM), easy to understand language and a little dash of humour at The Beauty Brains.

Website of the Day


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'The Beauty Brains are a group of cosmetic scientists who understand what the chemicals used in cosmetics really do, how products are tested, and what all the advertising means.'

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Red Eyed Train

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Medama-oyaji on Kitarō train, Tottori line click for more information
Image from Pink Tentacle

Website of the Day
Pink Tentacle - home of Japanese coolness, technology, art and science.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Which came first?

If you think about it from an evolutionary sense I think the egg did but the thing that laid it wasn't a chook.

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Check out this wonderful, transforming egg and chick knitting project from Mochimochi

Websites of the Day
... Mochimochi Blog.
Found via another blog which is also worth checking out if you love hand crafted, interesting, funky, quirky plushies:
Plush You

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well it's a difficult decision for her...

Captain Jack Sparrow versus Jareth the Goblin King

If you had to choose* would it be Jack or Jareth?

I think the Goblin King would probably smell better. All of us who ever drooled over Mr Depp as Captain Sparrow never thought of that part of his character did we? A former partner asked me if I'd like to give him a bath - good point and that could be fun...

Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out!
See more Celebrity LOLs.

The above is not one of my LOLs though I have put up a couple of Jack Sparrow LOLs and if you be so kind as to vote for either of them I would be appreciative!

*'To do what with him?' you may well ask. Let your imagination run riot with that one though I know what I have in mind ;)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Elizabeth and Mary Kirby's authorship

'The World at Home', by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby, published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1888 is the source for some of the vintage clippings recently shared here.

A quick bit of googling reveals:

'Elizabeth KIRBY (F: 1823 Dec 15 - 1873 Jun 23)
Steps Up The Ladder (anon) [1862]
Dame Buckle And Her Pet Johnny (anon) [1867]
The World At Home (w Mary KIRBY) [1869]
The Sea And Its Wonders (w Mary KIRBY) [1870]
Lost Cities Brought To Light (anon) [1871]
Margaret's Choice (aka: The Mistress Of The Manor) (anon) [1872]
Beautiful Birds In Far-Off Lands (w Mary KIRBY) [1872]
Humming-Birds (w Mary KIRBY) [1874]
Birds Of Gay Plumage - Birds Of Paradise (w Mary KIRBY) [1875]
Birds Of Gay Plumage - Sun Birds (w Mary KIRBY) [1875]
Aunt Martha's corner cupboard: or, Stories about tea, coffee, sugar, rice, etc. (w Gregg, Mary Kirby) [1887]
& more natural history related titles.

Ah [sigh and smirk] there's a certain innocence that's part of the Victorian age which makes the part of my mind that's quickly in the gutter, giggle. The part that loves old stuff and the way language changes, smiles and glows for being enlightened.

Clearly the Kirby sisters(?) had a shared passion for the exotic and far-off, natural history and bird-life in particular. Their work is widely considered to have made a significant, historical contribution to non-fiction literature. Various titles are available as reprints here.

I was originally going to cut up my copy of their work for making my signature surreal collages since it is falling apart and has been hand-coloured with watercolours randomly, by a previous owner rather than the publisher. Now I think I'll keep it in one piece!

* From The New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Shark in 1888

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THE SHARK*
by W.H.F. & E. Etherington


'He likes to keep up with a ship, because then he can catch whatever is thrown overboard. He is not at all dainty, as you will think, when I tell you a pair of old boots was one day thrown at him. The shark swam up, opened his great jaws, and swallowed them as if he thought them very nice.'*

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THE SHARK*, detail
Notice his resemblance to a seal with furry skin and a narrowing at the neck.
His tail changes between the illustrations from vaguely mammalian to something more piscine (below).

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THE SHARK IS CAUGHT AT LAST*
by W.H.F. & E. Etherington

The story of the shark concludes with the sailors on said ship catching and killing the shark using a chunk of meat on a hook and chain. His crime: following the ship in case there's a man overboard, who he would 'swallow... in a minute'! Surprisingly no mention is made of eating him. It is typical of texts from this period to describe the uses and edibility of fauna. The text does discuss the uses of shagreen, the polished leather made from shark skin.

*Images from The World at Home, by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby, published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1888.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Sand Storm and A Strange Visitor

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A SAND STORM*
by Van'Dargent and Demarle (??)
Depiction of a sand storm on The Llanos plains or Los Llanos (meaning the flat plains), of Colombia and Venezuela in South America.


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A STRANGE VISITOR*
by M Jackson Sr(?) & KH
From the same region a dormant crocodile buried in mud, is uncovered and awakened by the monsoon** rains. Given the location of the hypothetical story behind this picture, it's most likely to be an Orinoco Crocodile. This is the largest predator of the South American continent, reaching lengths of up to 20ft or 6 metres! Unfortunately due to extensive hunting for its leather during the 19th and 20th centuries, and now due to pollution, it is a critically endangered species. So any traveller like the ones depicted in this story would be indeed be privileged - as well as alarmed, naturally - to witness such an occurance today.

*Images from The World at Home, by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby, published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1888.
**Monsoon describes a particular, heavy, seasonal rainfall and is no longer considered a meteorological term specific to the India.

Skull a Day & Street Anatomy

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Bird dropping skull
01/11/08

At Skull a day this bird poo would be described as a simulacra. I spotted it after hopping out of my car yesterday afternoon. You can find more skullish simulacra on Sundays, reader submissions, and the original skulls from each day of a year made by the site's author.

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i-Pirate - Now with Skulls!
clay, card, found objects
2008


Admittedly I have found some of the skull simulacra a bit tenous, and sometimes I think the author phoned in the skull for the day. There also isn't many non-human skulls. However skulls like the Chinese calligraphy skull, the chewing gum dot and chalk skulls, and many of the found object ones are so outstandingly nifty that you can easily forgive these things.

Noah Scalin, site author, decided one day to make a skull a day for a year. At times he would struggle to find a new and exciting material, he would come across something unconventional as an art material like petroleum jelly, while on other days something spoke to him, such is the way with art. He dabbled in media he hadn't used for years and challenged himself with new ones. He's been plugging his site book a lot there lately! There's a Facebook application to give your friends skulls each day. So if you like skulls and art you will enjoy Skull a Day.

[edit]

If that doesn't tickle your fancy try the blog, Street Anatomy which has more than artsy skulls. You will find art with street cred, all relating to the anatomy of humans and animals in varying medical depth, some vintage some contemporary, some might not be there tomorrow while others are there for a lifetime, all in a variety of media. Cool stuff for the slightly morbid or scientifically curious art browser, and well worth reading right through to the beginning of this blog's archive.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Very Happy Dinosaurs

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I found this pack on the hanging display prong when I was rearranging things. I swear they were exactly like this when I found them. Would I lie to you? They are dancing in a conga line. Yup, that's what they're doing...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Reviewed

Haroun and the Sea of Stories
by Salman Rushdie
Illustrated by Paul Birkbeck

The hard back, large print edition I borrowed has intriguing, fantastic little pictures dotted over it, which is what initially caught my attention. The illustrations by Birkbeck throughout are beautiful and exquisitely detailed.

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This well paced work needs no illustrations but they are a perfect accompaniment. They do enhance the reading experience - like a nice biscuit or three to dunk makes a well brewed cup of tea something morish! The story telling is so vivid that you may well imagine something to match Birbeck's art. He has certainly read the book since his art is true to it both overall and in detail. My only quibble with the illustrations is that a couple of the full colour, full page ones of plot events preceeded the text to accompany them - thus spoiling the surprise.

I have only heard of Salman Rushdie as a fugitive, a free speaker and an author of repute. I had not read a single one of his works until now. It is something I will definitely look into. I came to this book with fresh eyes and can see what all the fuss is about.

Finely written in the tradition of the Arabian Nights tales, this is classic, exotic, storytelling gold. A first class read, it's full of texture, magic and diversity of characters with a gentle peppering of humour for young and old. I appreciated it as a pure fantasy work separate from our world. However it does have relevant messages about freedom of speech, understanding, peace, imagination, the value of traditional culture, and the power of the people - all deftly woven with a subtle strength on a foundation established early in the book. As Haroun realises, that is the point of stories that aren't true: you are entertained and your thoughts are provoked.

Highly recommended!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Knobbly fresh produce FTW!

'"At long last we are going to get crooked cucumbers in our shops. Hooray for Europe!".
British Labour MP Dennis McShane applauds the European Commission's plans to ease restrictions that prevent the sale of knobbly fruit and vegetables as 'class one' goods'
The Independent, London, 16 June, 2008'
Quoted in New Scientist, 21 June, 2008, page 12

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beetle burger

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Beetle burger
digital file
2008


Original image from : Chatterbox (1926, Children's Annual), published by Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., London 1926. Artist unknown

Ye olde flavours

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Ye olde flavours
digital file
2008


Original image source unknown since I saved this one to make a LOL some time ago. If you can tell me where it's from I will credit it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

BibliOdyssey

If you like art and history combined but you don't check out BibliOdyssey regularly - or [gasp] you have never heard of it - then here's something to whet your appetite. Phwoar! It doesn't get much better than this. You can tell the author loves to fossick out the beautiful, strange and unusual but there is also a history to discover behind every image. The fantastic is complemented by the scientific, with the artistic melding it all together.

The obligatory* book that this popular blog's (Australian) author has published is worth seeking out for more than its wonderfully macabre cover! It inspired me to rummage through my old books and share a few of my favourite vintage clippings here.


*I say this in a good way since many of my favourite sites have accompanying publications.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Beetle Land

'Where is Beetle Land? In the fields, in the woods, all over the place, or where the flowers and mushrooms grow. Any place where the merry little beetles run about is Beetle Land.'
by P.P. Billinghurst

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In Beetle Land - Header, "Perhaps they stop and talk to each other."


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In Beetle Land - Header, detail


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In Beetle Land - Header, detail 'Land'


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"It was very comfortable."


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"There was the monster outside his own front door."

From: Chatterbox (1926, Children's Annual), published by Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., London 1926
Unfortunately the artist for these particular illustrations isn't credited, they are not signed, and they are unique in style within the book.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kitsch Koons meets the Sun King

The regal splendour of Versailles, France is about to house a major retrospective exhibition by sculptor Jeff Koons. It is a strange choice of artist for this Baroque venue, both in nationality and style. Many of the locals aren't happy about it at all. Having perused some of the 17 works online in context I am inclined to understand their view point. Some of these pieces looks cheap* and nasty in these luxurious surrounds: namely the full colour inflatable pool toys. The overtly kitsch, gold accented sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles is a particularly controversial inclusion. I think that one is going to be awful where ever it's exhibited!

However other sculptures displayed at Versailles, both indoors and in the grounds, seem to work in a surreal way. Take the exuberantly pink Balloon Dog. At Versailles this piece is being displayed indoors - unlike in my photograph below - however going by the shot taken of it there I feel that it works.

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Balloon Dog in Venice, 2007
digital photograph


It's a bit silly and out of place in these old surrounds, but it's fun. Must art bow its hat to history with great reverence? So what if it isn't high brow? That is not what defines art. Sometimes we forget that visual art doesn't have to be serious or meaningful. It can entertain and make you smile or chuckle as well.

Koons' sculptures are created to stand out and look a little odd anywhere. The oversized scale and mirror surface he uses in many of the pieces ensure that. This style is a modern expression of flashy luxury which may well have been appreciated by King Louis XIV himself!


*They are actually
really expensive of course. Koons is the most expensive living artist. British Damien Hirst -also known to court a bit of kitsch but more so controversy - is the world's second most expensive living artist. This is based on sales of their two most expensive works in 2007.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Art Deco 1910–1939 @ NGV International

Art Deco 1910–1939 @ NGV International, was extensive with quite a bit of breadth though I must conclude I found a lot of it clunky and a bit heavy visually. The room reconstructions complete with wall decor were retina burning but I guess they were historically accurate. It was like a walk-through art history class and helped me get a better understanding of the style beyond what I already knew.

Best bits: Cartier, Lalique, US streamlining, The Strand hotel revolving door foyer reconstruction, François Pompon’s bronze Polar bear*, car ornaments made of glass, the original Holden lion sculptures. There was an exquisite cut glass vessel from Scandinavia (I think) owned by H.R.H herself. Colourless, it depicted a 360 view of glass house with women attended to some of the many little potted cacti. The detail was amazing.

I had not attended a Winter Masters NGV show before because none of the previous ones were tempting enough. This one swayed me and I felt it was well worth my time and $ :) Looking forward to seeing what the next one will be.


*Featured on lots of the exhibition merchandise in the gift shop. I was disappointed they didn't have 3D versions of him in glass or metal as a miniature perhaps. They just plastered him all over a range of stuff, and some jewellery.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Man Attacked by Gourd*

In amongst the bits and bobs of antique book bits my father has for resale, I found this intriguing and beautifully rendered clipping:

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Orson Lowell
Man Attacked by Gourd*



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detail

Orson Lowell was born in 1871. He is best known for his finely penned illustrations for Life magazine where he worked from 1907 into the 1940s.

Online version of Rudyard Kipling's The Brushwood Boy, from 1907, featuring illustrations by Lowell here.

*not actual title :P

Friday, August 29, 2008

Falkor wearing grumpy pants

In my bloggish explorations I came across Monster Brains. Amongst the diversity of monster images on this blog I found one that just begged to be a 'seperated at birth', blog post.

The 17th century image at the top is sourced from here.
The other is Falkor the Luck Dragon from the NeverEnding Story.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A(n Unidentified) Giant Trunk

A Giant Trunk
A GIANT TRUNK
Image from The World at Home, by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby, published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1888.


In this book written for 'young people' the species of tree isn't identified. We are told it's in a Brazilian jungle and fifteen 'Indians' can only just reach around it.
'A man can easily get lost behind such trees as these.
If he shouted at the pitch of his voice, his companions could not hear him ; and he might wander about till he died.'
Indeed he might although it's a somewhat non-specific and morbid thought for a kid's book!
[edited 17/8/8]
I expect some artistic license was taken with this illustration so I did a bit of research to see which trees could be the likely suspects. A species of the evergreen, Podocarpus possibly Capitulatis, Nemoralis, or Pratensis may be this tree. Images and descriptions at this site seem consistent with the illustration.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vintage Cute Overload

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Not accepted to the official CO site but meh.

Vintage LOLrus

Vintage LOLrus

Vintage LOLrus
digital file
2008


Original image of a walrus hunt from The World at Home, by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby, published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1888.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Labyrinth Ball 2008, photos

Last month we attended the Guild of the Golden Owl, annual Labyrinth Masquerade Ball. A huge improvement on last year in just the venue alone which was perfect for such an event. The Regal Ballroom is a gorgeous, classy, heritage ballroom, dressed in gold, cream and red with a soaring ceiling, and obligatory candelabras and crystal chandeliers.


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More so than last year, people made quite an effort with their costumes. We hired ours. I was going to wear a huge white wig ala Marie Antoinette - it's something I've wanted to do since seeing the movie with Kirsten Dunst - which is why I went for a very plain mask. However I couldn't get the wig to cooperate with my mask on the night! I wasn't aiming to win the Best Dressed prize* although the wig might have helped get me nominated. I did get plenty of compliments nonetheless which was nice.


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Musical chairs this year was bigger. There was no way I was going to play it in that skirt!

My dapper partner had been willing to wear his own snowy, faux, bouffant to match mine and had shaved off his side burns in preparation. I think he looked better without the wig anyway!


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There wasn't as much Bowie played or Labyrinth soundtrack, and not all of the music was to my liking. Nonetheless I danced, and my skirt swished about in a bouncy way :)

The crew had put quite an effort together with the decor, staging an art show at the event, getting full colour flyers out. The nibblies were good too. Overall a fine night out I would recommend to anyone who loves the movie/relishes dressing up. I'm already thinking about what I'll do for my outfit next year!

*Thoughts on how to win the Best Dressed Prize at costume event
As someone who has awarded my own party guests with Best Dressed prizes I can tell you that making your own outfit goes a long way.
Attention to detail and a well coordinated outfit from head to toe shows you have put thought and effort into it.
If dressed as a character your cause may be supported by acting like the character.***
For a big event like this one you need to stand out from the crowd so avoid dark colours.
However:
you can accent dark colours with bold colour/sparkly**/furry trims etc;
you can compensate for an all dark outfit by going large.
Big hair/wig, head dress**, skirts, wings***, coat, and mask are some of the ways you can stick out a bit both literally as visually.

**Best Dressed Lady wore mostly black overlaying red with a lovely sequinned head dress featuring red butterflies.
***Best Dressed Gent was a bird. He was flapping about and hugging people :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Romping otters!

Fact for the Day
A group of otters is known, appropriately, as a romp.

from the
Website of the Day
Cute Otters

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zoobs Hand @ Socrates

Inspired by the Terminator hand from T2, made from Zoobs @ Socrates, Highpoint Maribyrnong [/plug] ;)
zoobhandA


zoobhandB

Friday, July 18, 2008

Of squid, snot and kidneys.

C/O The ABC News Feed

Giant Squid's public dissection performed yesterday @ Melbourne's Museum of Victoria

Quote of the day
From an ABC news article about the dissection, with regards to deep sea creatures:
"There's things down there where their entire bodies are made of snot, they've got detachable heads, their teeth fall out, they explode and they eat their snot jackets." Doctor Mark Norman
Cool and yech at the same time!

Headline of the Day
Surgeons pull kidneys out through volunteers' belly-buttons
Best quote from this article
'...a donated kidney must come out intact, "like a rose" ... Dr Gill said.'
My love is like a red red, uh, kidney.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ghostpatrol - Street Artist

GhostPatrolDoor
A Stalking Bear
Ghostpatrol
paper door art
At city end of Brunswick Street near Victoria Parade, Melbourne


Ghostpatrol is one of those artists whose work I loved at first sight, and upon seeing more of it love more still. His inspirations include puppetry, children's fairytales, Beatrix Potter, Star Wars, computer games, and characters from pop culture.

You can find his work both in galleries that market to the younger art buyer as well as in the street. His gallery pieces are both 2D drawings and paintings, as well as soft 3D sculptures. His recent works on arrays of pencils are unusual in that the pencils are used as a substrate. Some of his street art is small sticker art, often tucked away and carefully placed in an amusing fashion - a reward for the sharp eyed observer. Others like this brown paper installation, and spray painted murals are considerably bigger. The best areas of Melbourne to keep an eye for his street installations are Fitzroy and the CBD.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Facebook for singles

Tip for single guys on Facebook (and the ladies might want to consider this as well) seeking a discerning lady or gentleman:
Don't have more than 4 or 5 applications relating to hotness, sex and singles seeking others. It makes you look desperate. All those silly, little heart logos, lipstick kisses, flames etc look tacky.
Though perhaps you want to attract the sort of person who likes that?
[shrug]
If you do then please, carry on!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Cut Outs

We saw this today and I recommend it. You can also get a cute little button badge from it for free while you're there.

Cut Outs

Curated by Villain
@ Per Square Metre gallery
191-193 Johnston St, Collingwood, Melbourne
Show runs until 8th June

Over 30 artists participate in Villains latest show, CUT OUTS.
Using mediums of wood, metal, cardboard or other substrates and with no limitations,
the artists are free to explore this Cut Out concept.
Villain is taking this one to Per Square Metre gallery.

ADNATE ASH NOLAN ASKEM CLAUDIO MANTUANO DABS DEAM
DREWSTER DVATE GHOSTPATROL ITCH JASON JACENKO JORZZ JUNIOR
KID ZOOM LOUNGE KAT LUKE FELDMAN MEGGS MEPHISTO JONES MISO
MOTHRA MYLA PHIBS POISE PORE REKA SCOTT JANSEN SEAN KELLY
SEAR SEEKAYAM SIDE PROJECT STINK SUBWAY SUDS ZODE

Friday, May 16, 2008

Giant Microbes

Giant Microbes must be the most clever idea ever for plush toys. Not only are they playful and cute, they are educational with a scientific angle. Each one comes with information about the microbe and a picture. Doctors and teachers use them as educational tools. There's nothing else like them and unfortunately you can't get them all over the world. :(

I had not visited their site in a while so I was happy to see they are still going strong and have expanded their range. Now you will find them grouped by type there are that many. You can still get the classic Giant Microbes in the Health group, the Common Cold, The Flu etc. Giardia is a Malady and a favourite of mine. I think it's cool you can buy Scum (Biddulphia)

There has been some artistic license taken, while still maintaining the correct forms and proportions. Most notable, clever and amusing are in no particular order:
Flesh Eating bacteria with embroided knife and fork;
Chicken pox resembles a chicken because of the colours chosen;
Heartworm has a collar with an embroided heart tag;
HIV wears a red ribbon;
MRSA, a Superbug, has a cape!


Right now I've got this one in my system:
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As opposed to this one:
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Here's an informative article which answers the age old question
What's the difference between the Common Cold and a Flu?
So having read this and visited the link, the next time you feel ill - with snottiness and so forth - you will not only know what ails you but now you have an idea of what the little bugger looks like!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Splendid nudibranches

Check out the amazing nudibranch (pronouced nood-ei-brank) photographs at National Geographic online.

A variation on a sea slug - technically they aren't sea slugs - their ancestors were snails. You could think of them as emancipated snails who shed the oppression of shells in favour of flamboyance and toxins. Hot damn, they're proud of it! :P

What curiously splendid creatures they are, with such gorgeous colours and baroque shapes. Note how small many of them are. So fantastic if you didn't know they were real you would think an artist dreamed them up and sculpted them in ceramics, or built them in a computer.

My favourites are:
Chromodoris dianae (4th image)
Flabellina exoptata (8th image)
Hypselodoris sp. (2nd of the second white background grouping)
Chromodoris sp. (as featured on Cute Overload aka 'Pimp Slug, McSluggersons' 4th last)
Mexichromis mariei (last)

Read the accompanying NG article here.
See more images, learn more about nudibranches, in the NG video here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bottled water

I'd always suspected it was a bit wasteful to keep buying bottled water instead of refilling a bottle - even a 'disposable' one - with tap water several times.

This article at Smithsonian magazine online is an eye opener
.

You don't realise how much extra water goes into making that bottle of water for you or how much energy is consumed both in making the bottle and transporting it to you. The reality is, most tap water is fine to drink and it actually doesn't taste much different, particularly if it's cooler than room temperature (pop an ice cube in there). The key to reusing any bottle is to wash it out with warm, mildly soapy water regularly - if not everyday - and let it dry out completely.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Guild of the Golden Owl

As I wrote previously I would provide an update on the 2008 Melbourne, Labyrinth Ball. There is now an official website so you can find all you need to know there.
Guild of the Golden Owl, the official Melbourne, Labyrinth Masquerade Ball website

Monday, May 05, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Diamonds are a gull's best friend...

Isn't this a cool image? Why do I think so? I think it's because it's a bit artsy, like some of the taxidermy art I've seen but it is also commercial. It's elegant and beautifully monotonal despite being a colour image.

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I loathe obvious, groan worthy, was-that-supposed-to-be-funny? puns as much as the next person who prefers a higher form of wit. However, this one popped into my head after deciding today that I would finally post this ad I found in a French fashion magazine. This is after having it displayed near my desk for months. I don't normally think in puns or I would have thought of it as soon as I saw it. That's my defence and I'm sticking to it!

[edit 05/06/09]
Having just checked out this particular series of Peter Lippmann's work I am now wondering if this is one of his or was inspired by it?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nom, nom, nom, nom!

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It's a squirrel shaped nut cracker. I found it in a UK magazine and used it to create this macro.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Post Secret

Post Secret
It wasn't published so I have posted it here.

postsecret

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kukuxumusu stationery

Long time readers of this blog may recall my adoration of the Spanish Kukuxumusu brand. It means 'kiss of the flea' in Basque, and is pronounced Coo-coo-choo-moo-soo.

A couple of days ago I discovered a store near me that stocks Kukuxumusu stationery (more instore), and a lot of it was on sale. I was stoked and have since bought 7 items, some for a gift but mostly for ME! Whee :D

Don't have a credit card, not in Spain, not in Melbourne, and don't have anywhere near you that sells it, but want something Kukuxumusu? Visit their website and choose from a wide range of free downloads including screen savers, a desktop theme and lots of nifty wallpaper.

Stationary versus stationery

Here’s an easy way to spell the right word when you mean it. All my life – this is no exaggeration – I’ve never bothered to ensure the difference. Today I thought ‘Hell with it, I’m off to Borders to locate a dictionary and get this sorted once and for all!’

Stationary is an object that is not moving.
Stationery is office supplies, Smiggle stuff and Streamline staplers*.

Now, how to remember the difference?
E for eraser (and easy!).
Or you might prefer:
A for airport full of stationary aeroplanes.
So now we have no excuse to get them muddled ;)


*Judging by Milton from Office Space, they must be bloody good staplers…Love that movie.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night is definitely a worthwhile duo of fashion exhibitions. There's beautifully detailed Victorian dresses, architectual structures, exploration of shape and cuts, a variety of fabrics and surface contrasts best explored in monotone.

My expectations of it were a little topsy turvy - I found the Australian half of it at The Ian Potter Centre more impressive than the international half. It isn’t because the fashion was any better but because I could see it well. The lighting was extremely dim at NGV International. Why should this be when you’re dealing with pieces of the same age and materials? I respect the need for dim lighting of textiles but the disparity between the two shows baffles me.

One showcase had no lights on at all - most likely the light bulb was blown - when we visited on a Sunday afternoon. The space containing these large showcases is designed to cut out most daylight, and has minimal ambient light, so this rendered whatever was in the case invisible. I could just make out what might have been an embroided collar or perhaps an apron. I find this is unacceptable gallery practice for such a prestigious institution.

Most memorable pieces @ the Ian Potter NGV;
Two exquisitely beaded, Victorian mantles,
1950s dresses.
@ at NGV International;
Neoprene dress.

Cute and weird cigarette cards

Here's the cuddly, cute one hugging his grain husk:
Will's cigarette card  - Hamster
Common Hamster
Will's Cigarettes card
c.1930s/40s

Here's a fairly odd, feral looking squirrel (I was originally going to put the hamster one directly on the left of the squirrel but it looked like he was doing something with his grain husk to the squirrel...)
Will's cigarette card  - Squirrel
Squirrel
Will's Cigarettes card
c.1930s/40s


Finally, here's the weird one:
Will's cigarette card - Mauritius
Mauritius, Coat of Arms
Will's Cigarettes card
c.1930s/40s

The bi-coloured critters and mammalian-like dodo are what make it for me. It doesn't seem quite so weird when you see what a modern version of it looks like.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hot production by Timbaland on Red Carpet Massacre

How good are the Timbaland produced tracks on Duran Duran's Red Carpet Massacre? I was driving along listening to the album for the first time thinking, 'meh' when along comes Nite Runner, then I'm like 'Yeaaaah this is HOT stuff!' and chillin' while I flew along the freeway. I don't care for much of the rest of the album although I think the second half is better than the first.

Zoom In
(DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills) reminds me a bit of Ladytron a little - not that it's a bad thing.
Right now I'm a bit/totally addicted to;
Nite Runner
(DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills/Justin Timberlake),
Skin Divers (DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills),and
Tempted
(DD/Nate Hills/Jimmy Douglass).
I reckon with a bit of persistance from a DJ any of these could really fill a dance floor. Gotta love that throbbing, grinding bass and the popping electronic punctuation. I hope DD keep going in this direction.

Oh yeah and kudos to The HorseMuseum for playing Kingdom, one of Dave Gahan's new solo songs at Blitz. I was the only one dancing but those other punters just didn't know what they were missing. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Species bias. Sharks < Whales?

I read and reread this article and it disgusts me how people can be so species biased. This is but one case of many that you hear about. Sharks are just as special and important as whales if not more so! They have as much right to swim in the sea undisturbed, and unhunted by anyone who feels like it. I'm not saying I like them but I respect their necessity and place in marine ecosystems.

I find it even more ironic that there's a Jetstar ad right next to it featuring dolphins - again, species bias. I'm not innocent of it. I eat meat. I've eaten flake (shark) with chips many times. Picture the same story being published with a 250kg, 20 year old, 'monster' dolphin. Would there be such a proud glow surrounding it?

I don't think spending approximately 2 hours catching/killing a harmless, shy, cold-blooded (or otherwise), non-edible animal is anything to be glorified or be proud of. I'm anti-whaling - I've even done an artwork about it - but at least the Japanese eat their catch. This provides nothing but transitory glory and admiration from those who should know better. Oh, and a mute trophy to hang on the wall.

The only 'monster' in this story is the human ego.

The Forgotten Entomologist

Listening to Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol/Generation X

'To the colonists there was something odd about a man who kept a live anteater in his bedroom and was kind to cockroaches.'
From 'The Forgotten Apostle' by Stephanie Pain
in New Scientist, 4 August 2007, p44.


This was about the historically overlooked entomologist, moonlighting botanist, Daniel Rolander. He was based at the Dutch colony in Suriname in South America. His journals were recently translated from Latin into English. Rolander was patroned by Carl Linnaeus best known for his system of scientifically classifying plant and animal species.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Advertising Art

Lately I've had access to a broad range of magazines both local and imported. It's got me more interested in fashion and a better understanding or what works/doesn't work and why.

It's a known fact that glossy fashion magazines are largely advertisements with only a small segment having actual content. Yet what fabulous ads they are. The beautifully composed photographs, bold use of colours, shiney and sexy things to covet. The illustrated/arty ads can be particularly striking. Here's a couple that I am loving right now.


Champagne, Spain
From a Spanish magazine
I feel this will inspire a future collage from me. I quite like the coke ad that's around at the moment with a similar composition but this is more my style. Gorgeous!


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Moxie Sleepovers, cute kitsch
I don't know who the artist is for this but it's an amusing and striking artwork. Moxie's website is a sweetly feminine, interactive place to visit.