Wednesday, September 28

Stop apologising already

Need a wake-up call? Or would you like to start your Wednesday morning off with a wonderfully, thought-provoking read? I urge you to absorb Hila's latest piece on 'being nice'.

And, make an effort today people, to be nice without feeling you have to be apologetic.


Friday, September 9

Reading English

The question of reading preferences has been circulating on some of my favourite blogs recently. My bedside table is spilling over with books-on-the-go, thanks to Uni starting up again.

Yes, there is a definite theme going on here. Can you guess? 'The One Day of the Year' is a play about one Australian family's experience (and differing opinions) of Anzac Day in the 50's, and 'Regeneration' is set in the Craiglockhart War Hospital during the First World War. I was a little concerned about having to read these two, given the topic of war generally evokes distressing imagery and focuses on the horrors of bodily trauma from brutal war experiences. And let's face it, I cannot seem to manage sitting through an episode of RPA without near-fainting. However, these are compelling and controversial reads, and I can't put them down.

And the others - well, any excuse to read Peter Carey is fine with me and I'll soon have the opportunity to read 'True History of the Kelly Gang', with the added benefit of analyzing it with my online-classmates.

And finally, we come to Shakespeare. Nervous, am I? Yes. Thou art. 

I'm also excited: this one is set in the classical Trojan War, albeit with two characters I had never heard of: Troilus and Cressida. That is until recently - I was watching a TV adaption of Austen's 'Mansfield Park' just last week, and (the sleazy and ill intentioned) Mr. Crawford was attempting to woo Fanny Price with a reading of none other than Troilus and Cressida, of whom he claimed were his favourite of all literary characters. And I will be interested to know why they are his favourites. 

Sychronicity? Yes, thine be true*. You can see that my bookmark shows how far I have progressed - I've just reached the end of the 'General Introduction'. And there is more than just one introduction. 

If you haven't picked it yet, the theme of the English unit I am studying is Love and War, and spans a massive time line. There is also a bunch of poetry from different periods, ranging from middle english Chaucer ('The Book of the Duchess' - I love the title alone) to more recent war poetry. And I believe we will be watching Sleepy Hollow (yay! film! Johnny Depp!) just to mix things up a bit. Although, I wonder how Ichabod Crane fits in with the rest of the material.

*for all those Shakespearean buffs who are cringing at my misuse of SP phrasing, sorry about that. Let's hope by the end of this study period I will know what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 7

Typewriter stamps and lace edging

I am on the lookout for a vintage typewriter stamp, and although it's not quite old-world, this is the coolest little combo from Hero Arts. There is enough room on the paper above the typewriter to use the quote stamps, or to pen your own personalized words. Or you could use parts of a quote-stamps in different combinations, by coloring in a few words with inks... like 'old school' or 'my type'. Hmm... ideas.

Final stamping inspiration of the week is a combination of stamping and punching. I saw this project on a website, and I can't remember where now (Stampin' Up! perhaps?), and I can imagine all sorts of uses for this technique. The simplicity of a lace edge really appeals - these were stamped with a cursive script (or they could be pre-printed stock), then a lace punch was used, and lightly inked for a textured vintage finish. 

Tuesday, September 6

MIFF memories

I completely missed the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) this year, despite all intentions.

However, given there was a whole swag of films I had planned to see, I thought a visual list was called for. Here are the films that I had hoped to see - in no particular order of greatness:


Monday, September 5

Grace Kelly, Charlotte Smith and the Melbourne Writer's Festival

Here's a little something for the 2012 Calendar - the Bendigo Art Gallery is hosting Grace Kelly: Style Icon, fresh from the UK. I'd love to get a glimpse of these dresses up close - the fabrics, the construction, the accessories... particularly the costumes designed by Edith Head, worn by Grace in all of the Hitchcock films.

All the official bits can be found here.

What has this to do with the Melbourne Writer's Festival?

Of all places, this is where I heard about the Grace Kelly exhibition during the final event of the day, 'Dressed For Murder: Fashions from the world of Hitchcock'. It was an amazing presentation delivered by the entertaining Charlotte Smith, author of Dreaming of Dior, and more recently, Dreaming of Chanel.

Over 90 minutes, Charlotte shared her incredible story of an inheritance of thousands of vintage gowns, as models cautiously descended the steps of the BMW Edge venue to model selected pieces from Charlotte's Darnell Collection - a combination of classic Hollywood vintage couture and recently acquired designer accessories to match.

The outfits were amazing, and from my vantage point, the fabrics were sumptuous yet fragile. I was able to suspend my belief for long enough to imagine that we were in the presence of young women who had just stepped off the set of a classic Hollywood movie. A fabulous way to finish my time at the MWF.

Sunday, September 4

Dad's Day cardmaking

This was an interesting one - I tested a few new techniques here, such as running cardstock under the sewing machine - *gasp*  

And it was great fun - deliberately sewing crooked lines, cutting corners, and basically doing all of the things a good seamstress should not. I need an excuse to do it again.

I also tested out some of my new punches - circles, flowers and the teeny-tiny tag at the top that says 'happy father's day'. Then I ripped some bits, curled some bits, and inked the living daylights out of everything. I'm in love with the deep red used for the stamping, courtesy of aged mahogany Distress Ink.

And who says making man-cards is no fun? 
He loved it, by the way. Mission accomplished.

Friday, September 2

Good things come in small Tim Holtz configuration boxes

If my creative brain wasn't already overstimulated, these would tip it over the edge. I can imagine making some wonderful, and very personalised gifts out of these ingenious configuration boxes.