Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vintage Aero knitting needles: Note the points!

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Some vintage knitting needles I gave my housemate for Christmas.

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You don't find wording like this on packaging anymore:
'...PRODUCED TO MEET AN INSISTENT DEMAND...' 
'...WILL NOT INJURE THE FINGERS'
'CAN NOT SOIL LIGHT WOOLS'
'NOTE THE POINTS'

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The first year of Fonzie the Corgi

Fonzie is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
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He has remarkable ears - everyone remarks on them.
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Like others corgis, he does the 'chicken legs' ...
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... and has fabulous, 'tocks / floofy pantaloons.
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Apparently he isn't cute enough to get onto Cute Overload. Whisky Tango Foxtrot to that.
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Like other corgis he gets into some strange and amusing sleeping positions ...
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... providing a neverending source of distraction and amusement.
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Which ever way you look at him...
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...he is a charismatic chap.
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FonzieRope
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Street art: hippotamus, Fitzroy

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Fitzroy,October 2012.

Cole's Funny Picture Book Paper Butterflies

I have two framed paper butterflies in a book art show at Hand Held Gallery.
They are made using paper from Cole's Funny Picture Book.
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Summer BAZE
Book Arts and Zine Exhibition
From December 20-24, 2012
&
January 16-23, 2013
@
Suite 18, upstairs
Paramount Arcade
108 Bourke Street
Melbourne, 3000

Entry via Bourke or little Bourke street. Go straight up escalator to top level.

Contact:
(03)9654 4006
Megan at:
littleredfishy@yahoo.com.au

Gallery opening hours:
Tue-Sat 12-5pm

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Belfine Chippendale Santa

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My BF pointed this one out to me from a Priceline catalogue. I'd like to emphasize that the target market for these treats just sees Santa and that ours is a grown up point of view.

Okay.

Notice how the skin of Santa and Rudolph is the same as their coats even though they could easily have been given red coats - as evidenced by the Santa in the middle. It makes them look topless, and therefore odd. My BF suggested Santa looked gay - what with Rudolph looking like he is wearing a leather chest harness and mittens, and Santa wearing braces and cuffs. However the other night I watched a bit of the Amazing Race with a pair of Chippendales which I think is closer to Santa's look. Here is your basis for comparison:

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In conclusion I put forth that the Belfine Belgian chocolate making folk may have been blissfully unaware of these visual similarities
OR
they are a bunch of filthy minded perverts having a laugh because if you can see it you must be filthy too. And now that I've shown you the similarities you're gonna look at polychrome chocolate characters a little differently now aren't you? ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Street Art: fox, Fitzroy


Photobucket Fitzroy, October 2012.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What's that on the roof?!

Walking down Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, young man to young woman
"We've got find out what the fuck is on top of that roof!"
In hindsight I'm not sure if they were approaching that florist with the enormous flower and his sentence ran into a remark of surprise or they actually have a roof with a mystery something on it. At the time I thought the latter and prefer it that way - perhaps it's a hippopotamus eating cake.

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image copyright owned by Hazel Edwards, Deborah Niland

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Street Art: Banksy in Fitzroy

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In Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, October 2012.

Banksy pays homage to Blek Le Rat, the original stencil using street artist with the rat as his icon.

I'm not sure why Banksy's street art is more valued than others, apart from the prices it commands at galleries. I wouldn't say it is better, more sophisticated or particularly original but it is cool and I do like it. Having dabbled in stencil art recently I can confirm  that these monochromatic pieces took little time execute in situ compared with something full coloured or freehand. Matt black auto paint provides coverage very quickly and you only need a brief, feather light spray to crisply capture the shape in your stencil. It's more about the careful preparation of the stencil in the privacy of the studio. The infamy of Banksy seems to be more about the enigmatic quality of an anonymous artist who has succeeded in evading the authorities for a long time - possibly due the brief time it takes to install the art -  rather than the edginess of the art itself.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Street art: complementary balaclavas, Fitzroy


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Fitzroy,October 2012
Sculptural street art near the Fitzroy Nursey. The Free Pussy Riot sticker/flyer was a recent addition at the time of this photo. At the time of posting however, it was gone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mali in the City: celebrating 150 years of Melbourne Zoo

Mali is the first elephant born at Melbourne Zoo. To celerate 150 years of Melbourne Zoo, lifesize, fibreglass sculptures of the baby elephant Mali were painted by 50 different artists. The sculptures were then dotted around Melbourne's CBD for 6 weeks, and then displayed for another month at the zoo itself. More about it here.

I didn't see all of them up close but these guys did.

Here are my shots:
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A Pattern of Orange-bellied Parrot
Vanessa Bong (sponsored by Queen Victoria Market)
at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne


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Ming Vase Elephant
by Brian Cheung (sponsored by ecoFuture)
at Queen Victoria Market

I was chatting with a lady who said she travelled about to see the sculptures and that this was the best one she had seen. I was very impressed by it myself. I didn't endeavour to see more because I suspected that I had seen what I would conclude was the best one too. It's hard to convey the tonal quality of this piece in a photo.

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Detail of side facing wall:
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Even more Spring blooms.

This time the blooms have been chosen not so much for their beauty - which is still there - but for their unusual structural qualities.

A rose reminiscent of a love heart:
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Some rose buds:
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Cephalopodlian Aquilegia buds (I think they look like squid, my housemate F thinks the greenish ones look like seamonster heads):
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The same bud but a pretty shot:
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh, holy corn cob.

Don't you hate it when you drop one of your husked corn cobs from Victoria Market
down the back of the bagging bench at Aldi,
and it plops into their Christmas window display,
lying among little bell shaped chocolates and cotton wool
like Jesus in the manger with straw, and the animals, kings and things,
and you can't reach it,
and you won't leave your stuff unattended
but you really want your corn cob back,
so you hope to catch the eye of the cleaner with his broom
then an attentive check out chick comes and asks what's wrong
and she gets the cleaner to help you out
using the handle of his broom to push the corn cob within reach?

Yeah me too...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Interesting car plates

Photobucket I don't play with Lego as an adult but I can understand this one. Old school Lego is cool! Photobucket I quite like SpongeBob SquarePants and it really suits this slightly boxy, yellow hatchback. Photobucket I can not explain this one. Colour me bemused.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Street art: House, Fitzroy North

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Fitzroy North near Alexander Parade ,October 2012 This house is covered in art, including the front fence!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Street art: crushed can, Melbourne CBD

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Another cast concrete sculpture in the Melbourne CBD (near corner of Bourke and Elizabeth), possibly from the same artist as this burger and fries. I ran a few random words through Google Translator in both Chinese and Japanese to see if any characters resembling it came up.  The character is Chinese meaning 'dead'. If anyone of you can clarify/confirm I'd like to hear from you in the comments.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nothing but Flowers.

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In North Fitzroy on the window of a vacant commercial/industrial building.

For those of you not quite old enough to know what this is in reference to, here's David Byrne from Talking Heads.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Ermahgerd I'm in Aida!"

Lately I've taken to looking at the faces of each individual in large group photos. It has proved rewarding/hilarious. In the Opera Australia printed program is the following group shot from Aida where everyone looks serious...

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Ermahgerd I'm in Aida!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dandelion root coffee tips

Previously my housemate F, and I went to CERES open day back in July where I enjoyed a dandelion latte at the cafe. It has a pleasant earthy, nutty taste. After that it seemed worthwhile to try making my own dandelion coffee.  I dug up about a bucket's worth of weed, trimmed them back using poultry shears and washed them as throughly as I could, chopped, roasted and food processed them into a coffee like powder. The washing part of the process is the most labour intensive.

Among the countless roots we handled there was this little guy who deserved a close up and is the main reason why you get to read this at all. Other tutorials are sufficient, though after writing this I realise they don't give you exactly the same tips about cleaning. What started out as context for a picture post has become a partial instructional piece.

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We had a two person working bee* collecting all of the dandelion we could find to make dandelion coffee. We had decided to reseed the 'lawn' so harvesting dandelion was a byproduct of that process. We made several batches of coffee and found it was slightly less onerous doing it between us. However F no longer finds the smell of it appetising and has not drunk any of it as coffee. More on that later.

After about six or so batches within a week this is what I found to be the best way to clean the roots:

  • Agitating the roots in a bucket of water gives limited results. A sieve or mesh and a hose - over a bucket if you want to collect the water - worked a lot better and used less water.
  • Trim away all trace of stalk and greenery using poultry shears. They're good for fine snipping and wet objects.
  • Wash them in the kitchensink, immersing them in a bowl of water - wear rubber gloves because you're going to be there a while. Use a butterknife to gouge out any fiddly cruddy bits.

I popped online to read a few tutorials and slapped it together based on more than one set of instructions. You could say I followed this one, however this one seems to have some goods ideas that I might try if I/we ever do it again. We used a granite mortar and pestle to grind the later batches for a more even grind and less to clean up. The roasted roots caused some slight scratching to the food processor bowl and discolouration so processing before roasting might be worth exploring. Note that 250F is about 121C ie a cool oven. I made the mistake of thinking that the instructions mentioning 250 degrees in more than one instructional were in celsius and over roasted my first batch. The coffee beverage from that was fine but an unappetising grey!

One bucket - about 10 litres - of untrimmed roots yields about a quarter of a cup of coffee grounds at best. I make dandelion coffee by running it through my stove top coffee pot using similar amounts as I would for regular coffee grounds. It's lovely sweetened with honey. Limit yourself to one cup though because although it's caffiene free, like coffee it can still have a diuretic and a laxative effect.

F made a rum infusion and served it at our party on the weekend in a cocktail. She took a quarter of a cup of dandelion root grounds and infused it for about 3 weeks in a 700ml bottle of light rum. She then strained it using muslin. We came up with the idea of serving it with a melon balled scoop of vanilla icecream in a shot sized glass as a sort of affogato. It was delicious and our guests seemed to enjoy it. This infusion cocktail is recommended only for recreational purposes in responsible amounts - other sites mention similar alcohol infusions for medicinal use by the spoonful.

F writes: 'White rum. 4 shots infusion, 3 shots milk, 1 shot honey water. Shake with ice, put little ice-cream balls in 8 glasses, pour over. Honey water = honey:water 1:1'


*Can it still be called that if it's just two of you?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tarzan's endless chin

I found a bag of mostly boys' toys at hardwaste in my area. In amongst the obligatory McDonald's toys was this odd object. It is most likely for the Disney version of Tarzan.

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Gorilla carrying a human baby aspect aside, there is something weird about this toy. I think it the way the baby's head has an endless chin as it shoves its head out of the blanket - like he's poking his creepy little head out of a cannon. Yes I think that's what it is.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk like a Pirate / Corgi Day - Yaaarrf!

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Captain Juan Blacktoe* - AKA Fonzie the Corgi - contemplates the muddy waters off  NewTurf Island.


*so named for he has one black toenail, the other fifteen are pink.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Queensland Sanctions Shooting Threatened Bats



I understand that the fruit industry is important to the state of Queensland but so is its natural beauty and wildlife. This is an ineffectual and cruel way to deal with loss of crops. It needs to be stopped. I would have thought endangered and vulnerable species' survival was more important in the long term than any crop. The government could be subsidising netting not allowing shooting. Why does wildlife need to have a dollar value before its custodians care for it?

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 Series IV, Pod II, detail*
modelled on the grey headed flying fox

Please help stop this slaughter by sending an email from here / signing the petition here!


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Series IV, Little Reds, detail*
modelled on the litte red flying fox

*Images of my sculptures taken from my folio blog here.