Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cupcake Wreck

Outside a Cupcake Bakery. A late 30s/early 40s woman and her male companion are checking out the window display. She says
"It looks like poo. It looks like poo upside down."
After they went I checked out the display and could only conclude it was this.

 photo cupcakeDad_zpsd32d2aa5.jpg

At first I thought she meant the turdish blob* on the top which made me wonder if there was a right way up for poo. When looking at the photo after uploading it I realised she was probably talking about the word 'Dad' on the side - it's Fathers' Day tomorrow.

*What is that anyway? It looks like a complete male appendage with an accoutrement on one end. It's how a man becomes a dad so that works doesn't it?
EDIT: A bit of research has revealed it is a tie! Of course it is. I think that shape around the word poo is a shirt pocket. Though if you're looking at this upside down it's a house. This all ties in rather nicely because clearly the cake decorating skills on display here are s***house.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sunday 'Style'

I've got a terminal, proverbial, weaponed arthropod in my sunny day, head attire so I'm going to have a rant about it here. My beef is with this thing called 'fashion'. Witness the cover of Sunday Style, from the Herald Scum August 11, 2013:

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This cover photo really bugged me. I'm indifferent to Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's as if the photographer, stylist and editor got together to try and publish a polished but totally unflattering image. Maggie is an average to prettish lass. This image makes her look pasty, boyishly weedy, curiously thin lipped and evil in A Clockwork Orange way. How does this invite the - predominantly female - readership to want to know more about her? Did they think she looked intriguing? [shrug] Is the undone pussybow blouse and lack of pants/skirt* teamed with fishnets an homage to her role in The Secretary? Why the upturned pudding bowl hair? Why anything really...

*  *  *

A senior fashion editor from Vogue Australia wrote the 'Trend I love...' column in the same issue citing this image as one to emulate. The fact that it looks awful on the model may put one off  from the 'bold athletic aesthetic' and 'some of the most striking pieces'. Is it actually bold to ignore the fact that a 'denim suit' is a term used in the fashion vernacular with derision? There's a good reason why the ones in the know usually recommend you mix your denim washes to avoid that look. It's too matchy-matchy and you tend to look like you're wearing overalls (oops too late!). No mention is made of that here.

The ill fitting, unflattering outfit 'heralds a new direction for one of fashion's ubiquitous garments'. Everyone who knows anything about style, knows that pleated pants are to be treated with caution or you will risk looking like you have stuffed a spare tyre down your pants. This look is repeated in various ensembles from the Balmain Resort Collection 2014**. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I prefer waistlines to appear smaller - not the same size - than hips and shoulders on women, possibly because that is the natural way of things. I think the jacket is well cut but the wash and buttons make it look cheap and bedazzled. Don't get me started on the dropped crotch thing.

*  *  *

It is for these reasons that this lift out should be called 'Fashion' or 'Now' or 'Trend' or something like that. 'Style' is not subject to the whims of what is considered fashionable. What is stylish isn't always fashionable but what is fashionable can be stylish. Being fashionable is highly overated. Being stylish is what everyone should aim for, young or old. It doesn't mean boring, and it doesn't mean old. It means understanding what shapes, fabrics and colours work for you. You wear things that speak to you, that make you feel happy, comfortable, elegant, strong, at your best in yourself. It takes years to figure this out, and I consider it a work in progress rather than a destination. While it can be useful to observe what is new in fashion for inspiration but don't be disheartened if it feels like it's aimed at someoneelse. It probably is!

*Lack of pants/skirt may be to highlight that thigh gap that is considered something to aspire to, particularly in certain circles.

**After looking through the whole collection I can safely say I don't like a single thing there. I am not the target demographic. Whatever.

We built this sausage.

[singing to the tune of Starship's We Built This City]

We built this sausage!
We built this sausage.
We built this sausage in a sauuusaaage roooooOOOooll.

Someone's always playing delicatesan games.
Who cares they're always changing delicatesan names.
We just want some small goods. Someone cut the line.
Why can't they take a number - just like everyone else?!

I'm gonna place my order, so listen here deariooo.
I'd like a kilo, of chorizo, please oh

Monday, August 26, 2013

Homemade white fly sticky trap

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Essentially all you need is something yellow, weather resistant and sticky with a decent surface area. The whiteflies are attracted to bright yellow and orange.

We found some plywood frog cutouts at the last hard waste collection as well as some yellow enamel paint. I combined the two with a spike made from some broken garden lattice.Obviously it will still work if its a plain old rectangle but I had the frogs so why not make them ornamental?

I tried painting used motor oil onto them to act as a sticky surface but it wasn't particularly sticky, it ran down it and was a bit dark. Smearing it with an old pot of vaseline based lip balm worked a treat as pictured.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Signal box in North Fitzroy by Kaff-eine

Traffic signal box by Kaff-eine.


If this unicorn looks familiar, I have previously posted a detail of a piece by Kaff-eine.

Kaff-eine's style is quite distinct - fluid yet controlled linework, a colour palette favouring the complementary contrast of blue/purple with yellow/orange, subtle tonal sculpting, simple, effective composition.  She also seems to like horses and their ilk. I've seen a few of her other pieces in Melbourne's north.  See more of  her art here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Benjamin Robert Haydon and the Elgin Marbles

'The ambition of Benjamin Robert Haydon was to be a great painter,and he believed that he achieved it *... What is he is remembered for to-day (sic) is his journal, which he kept practically all his life.'
 photo KeatsWilkie_zpse1dfba06.jpg
'His custom of taking casts of his friends' faces was sometimes rather dangerous to the sitters, and they were nearly suffocated.'

'Lord Elgin ... saw with distress how the marvellous sculptures by Phidias, decorating the Acropolis at Athens, were being neglected and destroyed. They were rescued by his agents, and brought to London. The incident caused a great stir, and there was much difference of opinion about the statues. Haydon saw their beauty, recognising the sublime in art. He took up the defence of the Elgin Marbles vigorously, and it was really due to him that after a parliamentary inquiry they were bought for the Nation, and are now in the British Museum. He obtained leave somehow to make casts of some of the figures.

"16th November, 1815. I hurried away for a plaster man! As I was passing Prince's Street, I passed two inside a shop moulding. I darted in, and said: 'Get some sacks of plaster, and a cart, and follow me. I'll put money in your pocket.' They obeyed me directly. As we got down at Burlington House I said: 'Now, lads, as soon as this gets wind we shall be stopped, so work away.' They took fire, for with Italian quickness they perceived the truth...

...So we went on up to 8th December: when they alarmed Lord Elgin ... it was too late, the cream of the collection was secured." The casts were afterwards sold to Russia.'

Image and text by Ruth Cobb from children's annual Chatterbox, J Erskine Clarke MA, Wells Gardner, Darton and CO, London 1927

*The fact that he is in major art collections like the Tate's suggests that he was at least better than 'mediocre' as the text by Ruth Cobbs describes. These days the mediocre artist is unlikely to enjoy such a priviledge.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Great Whale Leaps

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It looks like a sperm whale which are not known to completely clear the water when they breach - at least not as adults. A bit of artistic license taken by GS Brien.

Image by GS Brien from children's annual Chatterbox, J Erskine Clarke MA, Wells Gardner, Darton and CO, London 1927

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Good book, cosy nook...

 photo GoodBookCozyNook_zps6a6fc74b.jpg
If the illustation was intended to illustrate the exact opposite of what the caption says then: Well played Winifred *lol*! I didn't know they used quotation marks sarcastically back in the '20s. You learn something new everyday...

Image by Winifred Barham from children's annual Chatterbox, J Erskine Clarke MA, Wells Gardner, Darton and CO, London 1927