Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Maybe, she's just not that into you

Opening Lines and Tips Part 1
For the single lads at night clubs/pubs/parties etc

Don't ask which suburb in this fine city she's from.

It slightly smacks of creepy stalkerdom if you think about it. It doesn't tell you anything about her either so why ask that?

Don't ask if she's out with anyone or on her own.
It feels like you're trying to establish if she's alone and an easy target which is also a bit creepy. If you want to ask if she has a boyfriend/girlfriend, well that's a fair question and it certainly makes your intent clear.

Don't assume that because she has answered 'no' to the significant other question that she must be interested in you.
Maybe she's just refreshing honest and polite.

Don't follow her around the venue like a lost puppy dog.
Stalker/creepy/needy. Do not want! This kind of behavior can get you reported to security by the more savvy lady. It's also a great way to ruin any positive conversation or rapport you might have had with the lady earlier in the night.

Don't be drunk or too tipsy.
You talk crap when you're drunk, you splutter, you get too close, you swear. It's very unattractive. Enough said.

Learn to read basic body language.
If she's doing more than one of these:
  • avoiding eye contact with you;
  • looking around the room a lot or staring off into the distance not at you;
  • keeping a physical distance from you;
  • keeping her answers to your questions short;
  • being evasive in response to your questions;
  • folding her arms across herself or has her elbows jutting out at you;
  • walking past and completely ignoring you after talking to you earlier;
it's because she's not interested and doesn't want to talk to you, but is too polite to tell you to leave her alone! Cut your losses and move on.

I don't know why but most guys who have hit on me at night clubs use those first two questions as opening lines and they DO NOT WORK. Maybe they are the first things to pop into their heads [shrug]
Having worked in retail, sales techniques (ie. 'professional' pick up lines) do not work so well on me.

Being charming and an interesting person to talk to is what matters.
You could ask her about music, art, movies or what she likes to do in her spare time. These are the things that tell you about a person's character and what they will probably enjoy talking about.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Abe has a peanut!

Listening to: She's in Parties by Bauhaus

Created from a photo taken at work. The peanut is an eraser we sell. A customer seemed to have taken a bite out of it. Abe the elephant is from the game we sell called Animal Scramble, his beard is a fake moustache from a pack a customer helped themselves to and his hat is Photoshopped because I have better things to do with my time than making tiny top hats for elephants ... things like creating silly LOLs and blogging for instance.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Black Footed Ferret

Too cute - and endangered.

1939, Art Deco Book Cover

The above is the cover of a 1939, Dutch book my father recently acquired for resale. The title
'Gereedschappen en werktuigen voor de houtebewerking. Deel I handbewerking'
translates* to
'Tools and equipment for wood processing. Part I hand operation'

I just like the vintage artwork on the cover. Detail:
I couldn't get a meaningful translation of the words on the banner under the man. Something about tools and a worker.

* Google Translate Has a detect language setting which is helpful in cases like this when you don't know what language you're dealing with.

Drumstick Summer Parade Commericial

Listening to: Shout by Depeche Mode from Speak and Spell


Drumstick Summer Parade* is chock full of whacky, very Aussie, decadent, CGI goodness which I love - particularly the slightly risqué but cute budgie smugglers. The sunburnt peaches (I think/hope they're peaches...) set the tone, fly swat robot is awesome and the sandman is sweet.

Then that git loudly bites off the tip of his icecream cone and they all follow suit.

Am I weird because I never do that and neither does anyone else in my family? We all eat that last. It ensures the warmth of your hand makes the choc tip chocolate gooey like Nutella and of course you don't end up with a leaky cone. I've never seen anyone bite off the tip of their cone either. Isn't that a recipe for a molten icecream bangle? Am I living in a icecream cone integrity bubble?

*Read about making this TV commercial, by the Iloura agency, here - including some cool concept sketches.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weird Vintage Cheese


I have no idea what is going on in the above!
I'm not sure when these postcards were printed but it's vintage weirdness which caught my eye. My father had bought them for reselling so I scanned them before he sold them off.


'The Cheese (The Adventures of Gorgonzola)
One night I went into a hotel for dinner;
I had things in season, and things that were out,
I'd sheep's head, and pig's head and calf's head, and cod's head.
I'd ice cream and pea soup, and oysters and stout
And after I'd put away everything,
I said to the waiter, "Just go out and bring -'

Eww. :P Gorgonzola I have heard is a VERY stinky cheese and that is a rather revolting meal. I guess that was the idea!

Paris in the 20th Century by Jules Verne: Reviewed

Listening to: Dressed in Black, by Depeche Mode, from Black Celebration

Background and other reviews here for you if you feel the following review you are about to read is ignorant or blasphemous to the history of sci-fi. I formulated this opinion on my own prior to seeing any other reviews - apart from the glowing ones on the book cover of course - and I feel validated that I'm not the only one to think this way.

In a nutshell: this sci-fi novel was published posthumously and his editor rejected it originally.

There's a reason why his editor originally rejected this forgotten manuscript and I hardly think it was because of the sci-fi technology being beyond its time, especially given that Verne is known for his sci-fi. I think that's just spin from the publishers. I don't think it was the dystopia either although that was highly unusual for the period. The reason is because this is bloody BORING!

Yes there are some startlingly accurate predictions as to technology's progress a hundred years into the future. Verne knows his stuff and is insightful.

An extreme form of feminism is predicted with women being so like men there is no point in them being women any more. It's certainly a dystopian outlook in keeping with the rest of the novel. However the idea of women being replaced with air compressors (WTF?) in human reproduction is VERY far off the mark. I'm guessing biology isn't one of Verne's scientific strengths but rather physics, chemistry and engineering.

There are dull descriptions about some of the organisations and what they do or rather don't do and how they control society in general, the history behind their formation.

There are ridiculously detailed, measured descriptions of things that aren't that pertinent to the story but have been included anyway eg exactly how many centimetres deep a particular body of water froze because the winter was so cold etc etc. I don't care, why are you telling me this?!

One chapter is a flimsy history of French writers in some rather pointless 'dialogue'. If I wanted to read about the history of pre-Victorian French authors I would borrow a book on the subject. The characters' dialogue in general is unbelievably flamboyant. This may or may not be due to the translator's hand.

The protagonist from quite early on is obviously a loser, not a survivor. I had hoped with the friends he made and his desire to pursue art over industry that he would start some sort of small revolution but he was too foolish for anything so clever. His pathetic attempts to move up in the world were so ignorant, they were obviously going to fail so they elicited no sympathy from me. I always feel cheated when the protagonist of a story is not just an anti-hero but a fool who should have seen it coming and could have stopped it if he had a backbone.

At first I felt some empathy with the idea that he and other artists are not appreciated. They want to create and have no choice but to work for money while their soul longs for something better. I could believe that 100 years into the future, Art is squashed out of existence by commerce. I can see how that could happen.

On the whole this felt unedited. You could probably fill only 3 or 4 chapters with the actual story. So much of the rest is superfluous.

Other reviewers have said there is little plot and this should be read and recommended as a historical piece, a remarkable prediction of the future. Perhaps that would have aided my appreciation, and allowed me to recommend this book which I do not: at least as a novel.

In spite of all this I do intend to read at least one of his better known works since at least they were edited. Jules Verne is famous for a reason after all and other reviewers agree; his other works are a far better read!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bebeh sea critters

Listening to: Sex is on Fire by The Kings of Leon

I came online this morning to do some research on ocean acidification for one of my current artworks. I used my copy of National Geographic, special edition Changing Climate* as a starting point.

On the always wonderful National Geographic website I clicked on this photo gallery of juvenile marine creatures aka Marine Miniatures by David Liittschwager. It's nice to be reminded of how amazing, beautiful and diverse nature is in such humble, tiny organisms. Why should we care about what happens to them and other near microscopic critters? Aside from their revealed beauty, the smaller they are the bigger the impact on the food chain depending on them. There is a difference between insignificant and small!

*Purchased mid 2008. Sold alongside the regular NG.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Koala collecting donations

No not the Wilderness Society!

First some cute and funny - I call her a koLOLa - to help the medicine go down. Here's a koala literally chillin' out :)

funny pictures

This juvenile koala got separated from her mum in the recent heat wave, prior to the Victorian Bushfire Disaster. She was lucky to wander onto a verandah where help was at hand and is now being looked after by wildlife carers.

So many animals, people and homes have been devastated by these terrible bush fires. They still aren't under total control. It all happened so quickly and some have been left with absolutely nothing.

Public Service Announcement
There's only one Victorian Bush Relief Fund. The Federal and State government has set it up in conjunction with the Red Cross. You can donate online or in person at any of the major banks. It's really easy - they have pre-filled the forms - and only takes a few minutes of your time. You can also pop into some shops like Australian Geographic to make a little donation if coinage is what you can spare.

The blood banks are booked up until Easter so hold off for now if you're considering donating. A friend of mine who works at the Southbank Blood Bank, tells me blood has a limited shelf life but there's a range of ways they use it.

They only need you to make a donation twice a year to make a difference in the long term.
I haven't donated yet but I have registered to do so for the first time in my life. I'll see how I go from there!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Customise a mask - How I did it.

Listening to: Poker Face by Lady Gaga


I started with a well shaped foundation mask from the discount basket (was about $10) at Eloquence Homewares. This one is papier-mâché which lends itself well to repainting.

Why did I want to change a pretty mask like this one? In a nutshell I felt it needed gothing/steampunking up. It was the wrong colour - a very bright yellow base, sparkling rainbow film glitter, with a pale pink plastic diamante. I needed it to complement this choker I had made for the Euchronia Ball.

Using a stiff bristle brush - a mini stencilling brush I think - I dry brushed black acrylic paint over the painted and glittery areas to dirty and age them. I topped up some of the plain gold, scrolled, glitter design that had gotten a bit muddled by my dry brushing.

I pulled off the diamante and the smaller, grey dappled feathers. Using copper enamel hobby paint and a 000 taklon brush, I carefully painted around the glitter scroll design and over all of the yellow, stippling to blend into the silver area. This type of enamel paint is easy to work with, quick to dry and inexpensive for the coverage you get.

I painted the back and front edge around the trim with black acrylic paint. This was sealed with a mixture of pearlescent acrylic medium and PVA glue for durability ... and to prevent my nose tip from possibly getting black while wearing the mask! This paint was also used to tidy up around the feathers to hide the residual glue from the removed decorations

The synthetic lace was sewn onto the existing woven trim using a small, curved needle. Before committing to such a time consuming exercise I tested out how this would look by pinning it in place. It was not cut to length but sewn on then trimmed off to ensure I couldn't run out. A few more stitches finished the lace end. If I were to do it again I would start from the middle at the forehead rather than the tip of the mask since the symmetry would be that tiny bit better.


Here is a large, metal, filigree cap bead and a small Czech crystal (the same type and size used on the matching choker).

I gently opened up and slightly flattened the cap bead. I stuck the crystal in the centre using contact adhesive. More contact adhesive was used to stick the two to the mask over where the pink diamante had been. Assembled it looks like both a flower, and a gear with a ruby movement.

I didn't want to stick an actual gear on it, since that would be too obvious and a bit silly! It would also be a somewhat clunky - I did try out a few different watch gears. Stylewise a gear was not in keeping with such a feminine mask, and it would limit it to steampunk outings only.

Finished! Almost...

Knowing I wouldn't want to hold this beauty to my face the entire evening, I added a loop of ribbon big enough to easily take my hand while holding the mask. It's sewn in place and the bow is sewn to ensure it stays.

Thus I was able to gracefully hold it in my hand while wearing the mask and dangle it from my wrist while sipping a cocktail.


After the event it made a nice addition to my decor. I tied a little loop of gold thread at the end of the stick near the mask and hung it off a pin.

I hope that was inspiring. I love customising things :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

An Honest Mistake

Listening to: Human by The Killers on You Tube

The Bravery's, An Honest Mistake video features a complex Rube Goldberg machine. It's a well written, catchy, dancable song* and the punchline at the end made me chuckle. What more do you need?

*IMHO their best song!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snail mail paradox

To update my postal address with a certain health service the snail mailed letter says I can use their online services.
To use their online service I have to register my name with them.
To complete my registration I have to ensure my postal address is current because they snail mail a password out to me.
There is no email option.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Steampunk & the Euchronia Ball, NYE 2008

I've only recently been dabbling in steampunk, but my understanding is we have a small community right here in Melbourne. It's not as big as goth but there is a fair amount of cross over in terms of fashion because of the gothic penchant for the Victorian. Many goths do cross over, and did on the night.

I predict that steampunk is the next big thing in international subcultures to influence the mainstream. Over the last year I've seen a slowly growing wave of interest and coverage. The subculture is already being mined by the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier in his most recent collections AW08-09 here and to a lesser degree SS09 here. It's just a matter of time for it to trickle down.

Due to the hectic time constraints of my job in the lead up to Christmas I did not have the time to organise a new gown of any sort. Instead I accessorised my Victorian goth coordinates. I customised a paper mache mask (see end of post) and made a steampunk, velvet choker.

The Ball
The first Euchronia, steampunk ball held on new year's eve 2008 was quite fabulous! I am looking forward to attending the next one.


As I expected the DJing was by goths and a large portion of the well to exquisitely dressed, costumed crowd were goths. It made sense that the music played appealed to this audience. There were also performance artists of a vaudeville nature though to be honest many of them didn't appeal to me. I quite liked the solo performance by one of the belly dancers. The live bands were definitely enjoyable particularly Dandylion Wine whose rendition of 'Magic Dance' from the 'Labyrinth' soundtrack was a jolly good rollick!

No photography was allowed according to the ticket unless prior arrangement was made with organisers. I disagree with this stance. I presume it was to ensure the paid services of the official photographer since this is not a sacred venue, nor would any artworks be violated by flash photography. If there were lots of photographs from the event out there, a range of people over many websites could help promote it for free thus ensuring a bigger result for the next one. It works for the Annual Labyrinth Ball over in the America, and the new Labyrinth ball here.

The event took up 3 rooms over which there was a chill out space with professional photography*, 2 dance floor areas and stages. The main performance room had the main bar. The cocktail list was decent and well priced with free water and glasses provided. Delicious gourmet party pies were also available. All rooms were steampunked with handmade decor ranging from sculpted dirigibles to stencil art. As a venue it was an excellent choice to host this event. I expect a slightly bigger one may be required for the next one! We were a bit surprised it ended at 3am! We just wanted the fun to continue :)


Coming soon: A How to Customise a Mask for the above result

*Prints available for sale at Euchronia's website.