Sunday, January 20, 2013

it's a set up...


I had just gone back to work when i started seeing #7vignettes appear on instagram. What is this? why are people taking these great pics - what are they doing and how can i join in, i thought.  Then i discovered stylist Jen Bishop and her blog. She had issued a 7 day instagram challenge - a different vignette a day. Luckily i had until midnight last Saturday to participate, so that's how i spent a (sweltering) day of last weekend!


So a vignette is:
"any small endearing scene, view, picture, etc:"
with this in mind i created the above for coffee/side table. I already had all the objects - but purposefully grouped them and adjusted my angle until i got the 'right shot'

Here is my #kitchen. I wanted the vignette to have a little story - which helped me decide on what objects to group. The full length image was working well -

but instagram involves a square crop, sometimes i could still get this to work, other times not so much...

but if we step back... this is actually the vignette. You see, i do have that panelled door in my kitchen, but i have a boring white laminex bench top - this side table looked more vintage, the light was also better in this room. Life is all about how you 'crop' it, i reckon!


This is #souvenir/momento, the daschund, buttons and bingo card were 'found' at Camberwell market, the cactus dog from Rose st Market, the background is a tea towel souvenir from a fantastic Italian cafe in the CBD, all from our last holiday to Melbourne.


Flower/plant, i thought would be the easier one - but it can get cluttered really quickly..


or not be quite right..


The possibilities can go on... but i stopped at this one:


This is #colour, the backdrop is a poster we have in the hall way.. what says colour other than nail polish?


Then there was #fun, so much to choose from. I decided on grouping things from my childhood, but it was getting a little busy, then there was the square crop..


I like how this represents fun + games...


I left #nature to last - i set this up outside - by then the weather was overcast, but i have added an 'actual' dark vignette to this image. I love the monochromatic colour palette, even though it is in colour.



So that was me 'playing' stylist for a day, although i was one of those kids who constantly arranged and rearranged little set ups in my bedroom - making my parents come look! That was when taking pictures with film was quite expensive - so you couldn't just snap any old thing!
Jen is starting another instagram challenge in February, so pop along to her blog if you want to 'play'!


Been and seen...

So there goes 2 weeks back at work - kids have one more week to go - what a lifestyle that is. Meanwhile as the temperatures have broken records (reaching 46 degrees), in Sydney on Friday 18th January. It's the perfect time to visit an air con gallery. One of my favourites is The White Rabbit Gallery. A private collection of contemporary Chinese works. We went along to see "Double Take"


a detail from work that is hand made models of household objects which are suspended in front of a light source to ressemble dust motes. There was something very captivating about this.


This is a detail of a full size figure made from paper - the artist is also a book maker. The next shot is of a figure that began the same way but was then dis-assembled or disembowelled?


This is a crop of a full size bike + side car used during the war (there was also a jeep), all made entirely of fine wire - which was originally wrapped+ around the actual parts.



A detail of a set of paintings that had  been inspired by these books


Detail below is from a life size stitched work which replicates the artists basement front door, the detail is incredible.




This piece is a detail from a life size 'chocolate shop', which at first seems appealing - but the viewer then realises is full of weapons. The message being about how countries give each other gifts as friendly gestures.



This is detail from quite a large work - where the artist was inspired by google earth and satellite images of earth to create a sort of abstract geometric piece using Adobe illustrator and a vinyl sign cutter to create a stencil.


After being totally inspired, there is nothing better than taking a moment to chill in their wonderful cafe, where we enjoyed a iced lychee tea and chicken/ginger/coriander dumplings.


The festival of Sydney is on right now.. The Rubber Duck is an installation by a Dutch artist - and quite near my office... too good a photo opportunity to miss.



So while it takes me an hour to get to the office - it means I'm close to the beach when i get home, really handy on those 40 degree days.




Although we didn't know that our power would be out for 2 hours after this evening swim!
A definition of hell for our teenagers. Perhaps I should've let them win the game we played on the ipad (entertainment + light source in one, perfect for power cut) - instead of thrashing both of them?


Currently the Art Gallery of NSW is showing Francis Bacon, I've often caught an exhibition on Wednesday night when they do 'art after hours'.  It features a variety of guest speakers, themed music and evening cafe menu. Such a great idea to make the most of a gallery and increase its accessibility - not that it was that quiet the evening Wendy Whitely spoke about artist Brett Whitley's encounters with Bacon.


It has been great catching up on seeing stuff, including the summer movies too. Is that what you've been up to?



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Creative rambling...

I don't know about you, but when i feel the need to create something - photography is the easiest place to start. Bascially you just find or arrange a subject, click and that's it. So that was my first creative venture. Before Christmas a lovely e-friend posted (as in real mail) a box of bits. She had seen my found object series of photography and thought i might like some 'bits' Indeed i did! here's what she sent...
Here's how it went...


I love how the compositions have a life of their own.
the objects just seem to arrange themselves.

i placed the items on a blank canvas and shot from above with my iphone

they have been tweaked slightly using photo toaster app

Then it was time to loosen up - just a random line walk - zen doodle perhaps?
Obviously i am a bit all over  the place ( a january manifestation perhaps?)
- so out came the colour


and some splodges

i scanned them in .. and re arranged..

sorry? what's that? the ipad is calling - or is that a lie down?

click to view


 So there i was, a fresh change, a new space to lounge. Christmas done. Now what? an email from zinio.com announcing their sale. (but you already have lots of mags on your ipad already, i hear myself say). Yes, but why not take this opportunity to see if there is anything else i might like. Hmmm, with single issues under $3 and yearly subscriptions at $9.99, who was i to say no?

This is from Canadian Flare so striking and a 12 amazing shots for the zodiac signs


While Nylon (U.S) has a wonderful exuberance and refreshing
use of illustration
While Quilting Arts magazine could show me how to turn photographs to fabric, how to make a handy reference journal of my images. If it was sketching i was after Artist & illustrator could show me how to distill my location to a simple sketch.


THEN there was Vogue Japan OMG! and i couldn't even read it! Great layouts, gorgeous fashion. Inspiration plus.

Did you know South Africa have Elle Decoration? It's worth checking out, wonderful colour palettes, great to delve into another place photographically.

A few of the reasons (and there are a few) i love my ipad is:
1) inspiration is affordably at my swiping fingertips.
2) many publications don't make it to Australia
3) i can stay in and enjoy instantly
4) I don't have to store, sort or throw out!

So that was a pleasant day indeed. I screen grabbed my faves and printed out mini versions to stick in my scrapbook. Then i was inspired to move to create something of my own!

a christmas snapshot


The days around Christmas:
there was baking, there was making
there was sharing

Who knew that despite being a tad tired from all that decorating I would be tearing around the mall one night seeking out a 'template' for my hama beads, which i so cleverly purchased online without template. I then stayed up late 'ironing' 6 decorations/napkin rings, and a necklace
(which i can now appreciate why they cost a bit in shops - 'cos they are a little fiddly to make - the usual story). Thanks to Lisa at the The Red Thread for showing me the way - click here to see her amazing results.

Then, thanks to the instagram inspiration of anthaus designs i managed to whip up a quick outdoor decoration in time for our Christmas eve gathering. Using flouro brickie line i tied together some fallen branches and painted a little flouro, then hooked a couple on the garden fence.




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

real life: changing rooms

Happy New Year and happy holidays to you! It woud be nice to have been lazing on a beach somewhere, but in fact my first week off before Christmas was a little busy. We had decided that it was time for a change around, so this seemed like a good as time as any.



First this purple wall had to go as we were moving our kitchen table back into this room - so needed the illusion of light.


There, that was a quick fix, although we still need to do the
other 3 walls and ceiling.

It's good to be realistic with what can be done in 8 days!

Then there was more purple in the lounge to deal with

and.. the fireplace to disguise and a peeling cornice..

OMG! the two of us and a couple of days later..
Usually i like to paint small, not walls AND ceilings, but it was worth it!
Just about managed to get the Christmas tree up in time...
Meanwhile, at the back of the house, Mr R (not son, seen here) had recently
added a half wall and sliding door to 


what was a dining room/home office... (seen before, below)

is now a 'presidential suite', ie: our bedroom with my computer desk,
and has a lovely reading nook (below).

While the tiny teen room that was... (a little cluttered)

is on it's way to being Mr R's home office

while our old crowded bedroom for 2..
is on it's way to being a spacious teen retreat for one, or a visiting few...
This also involved painting: undercoat, top coat + ceiling..!

So, yuh, it does seem strange sharing our house in it's various stages, but then what is the point of moaning about how the first 8 days of my holiday was working on a reshuffle - if you can't see it? Then there was Christmas and all that came with it.. but as i sit here on the second day of the year i do feel like i can start the year a little fresher!
are you feeling in need of a change, or revived?








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