Friday, February 27, 2009

Kiss Arse Pottery

I do like a bit of fine china on my lips and I’m lucky that an ancestor owned a pottery so I have plenty of beautiful old china. (Check out the lampshade that I whipped up with my glue gun last night!) But sometimes I don’t want pretty china, I want china with attitude. I wouldn't mind sitting down with my ‘floozy’ cup for a spot of tea. In fact, all the pieces in this shop are covetable.

from Trixie Delicious

If you’re not keen on cups you might like this Artsy Fartsy mug.

by La Pella Pottery

These plates would be fun to use or they could be hung on the wall as an art piece.
at Tara Po

Moss Beach Ceramics

And just imagine your guests finishing up the dip in this bowl and reading the message on the bottom. Wally Ware Pottery

Now there's something about tiny things and demitasse cups are no exception. These vintage cups are marked 'The Downtown Club' - conjuring up images of jazz, cigarettes and red wine.

from The Sisters of the Moon Vintage

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Doesn't it look lovely, relaxing, inspiring? I need to be taken somewhere exotic where I can play with fabulous inspiring people, and get fed, watered, and generally pampered! Here's a few retreats to consider for when the Lotto Boat comes in.

You too can take in the scene above when you visit the Costa Rica Writers Retreat - and there's a competition ending in a couple of weeks to win a week here.

Our writers' retreat will reawaken your senses and creativity. Write, listen to one another read aloud, and give feedback underneath a palm thatched roof, with the aromas of your next meal prepared by a master chef infusing the air. Sit on your private porch and work on that novel chapter you've been struggling with all winter. Climb the steps to the yoga studio overlooking the gardens and rejeuvante with a bellydance or yoga class; Docelunas has the only certified Bikram yoga studio at a hotel in the world. Give yourself the gift of space and your imagination the recharge of an environment teeming with artistic stimulation: scarlet macaws, toucans, and blue butterflies.

Or if you'd like to be a bit closer to home try the Writers House at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

Always wanted to stay for a while in the Italian countryside? Why not visit The International School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture located in Umbria, Italy.

Here you can work in a scenic environment that supports art. You have a community. And there is no lack of inspiration. For many, it's the incredible landscape that surrounds the school. And for some, it is the experience of being immersed in the world's greatest treasure trove of art.

Prague is a must see on any European trip. Get all inspired at this Arts Immersion Program and even take a side trip to the local opera.

And some readers of this blog have already packed their sarongs in readiness for the Art Intensive Workshop with Anahata Katkin in Bali next month. As well as getting to play with like minded people, they'll be massaged, housed, fed, taken to visit local attractions, and even get a visit from a medicine man.

Not happening for you? Can't even manage a meet up with your local etsy team? Well I hope you get a little time just to relax and recharge your creative batteries.

Shell candelabra from Bay Rays Girl

Maybe take a bath.

Soap from Inner Earth Soap

Or drift off and dream about that lotto-boat arriving while listening to some nice music. Here's a link I discovered on Karen Cole’s blog.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Would You Wear To The Oscars?

The Oscars or the Academy Awards have given us some gorgeous fashion to oogle at over the years. A few examples above from different eras - 1930s Mary Pickford 1940s Gene Tierney 1950s Audrey Helpburn (large pic) 1960s Anne Bancroft and Sidney Pointer 1970s Mia Farrow 1980s Molly Ringwald 1990s Ashley Judd 2008 Amy Adams - show that classic design never goes out of fashion. For more photos go to the official Oscar website.

If you'd like your own covetable outfit there are many independent online sellers who can frock you up for any formal occasion. Here are a few that I like. Just click on the pics to go to these designers' stores.


Vigilante Labs


Fashion Rerun

Maisy Brown Repro Retro

Heidi and Seek

Sarah Seven

Best Actresses 1927 to 2007

Or if you'd like to walk the red carpet one day as a film maker, you could make your own indepentent film. In the closing paragraph of Michel Gondry’s book You’ll like this film because you’re in it, the author offers to send all readers a free digital camera if they send him a proposal for a community movie.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Free Art & Design Magazines to Download

Magazines are expensive. And yes, I know it’s not the same looking at a magazine on line as having those glossy pages in your hands! But as well as the money saved sometimes we need a mag fix 'right now'. And we might find some special interest treasures on line that can't be had at the newsagent. Here's a few of my favorites and would love to hear about yours.

Map (Music Art People)

Finch - from South Africa for international designers, photographers, artists, fashionistas

Fiber Quarterly - fibre/fiber and textile art magazine from Canada

Artzmania - showcasing global designers

And a fav I've mentioned before, Art Trader – mixed media, mail art, atcs plus

Bathtime Stories is an online zine publishing the photographs of the same named flickr group.

An Update: I'm adding Viva La Moda Magazine after a comment from its editor, Ainhoa from Gilbea. It's choc full of handmade fashion and accessories. I'm in awe of of what Ainhoa and the other contributors have achieved here!

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Do You Measure Up?

Thought we could all do with a little chuckle as this horrific week comes to an end.

Here are some cards that I've been working on.

I've had lots of fun over a wine or two coming up with the captions.

And it got me thinking about the surreal world of the 1950s housewife that my imagination has built up.

I'm sure it bears little resemblance to the reality.

But I did come upon this little tidbit supposedly taken from an economics class text book on tips for a houswife of this era. How do you measure up to these?
  1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  5. During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  6. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  7. Be happy to see him.
  8. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  9. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  10. Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  11. Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  12. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  13. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  14. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  15. A good wife always knows her place.

Feel free to download any of these pics! The original graphics are copyright free and I'm happy for you to use my text! Just right click on the pic and save to...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lending A Hand

Most of you will have heard about the devastating bushfires that are still raging in south eastern Australia. The stats are sobering – hundreds dead, thousands homeless, and hundreds with horrific burns. There are things that we can do. I know that many people do not have the means to provide financial support. But for those who can please visit the Bushfire Appeal Shop and make a purchase or donate some items. Please be patient and visit often as permission has only just been granted from etsy admin to go ahead with the shop and there is a huge backlog of items to upload.

All of us though can do something else. Please take a few moments to send loving healing thoughts to those in need. I have no doubt that this can make a difference.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Most of us have been exposed to original poetry in the form of books. But the use of original poetry in paintings, collage and sculpture seems to be increasing in popularity. Not surprisingly I suppose as the 'double whammy' of the visual image together with a text may convey a clearer meaning, create a more intense mood.

At the top of the page is a mixed media sculpture by Lolita from Daily Threads. Titled Memories the piece comes from her In This House series. I’m sure we can all relate to Lolita’s observation, “I created this series inspired by daily walks in my many neighborhoods and travels through the years. Passing by, you only see the outside shell of a house. Curiosity peaks when you see a window without curtains. What happens behind those walls? Who lives there? What are they doing? The rare open door almost seems like an invitation to come in.”

Ren Adams conveys a less friendly mood in his collage below. This beeswax piece incorporates an original poem, found art ephemera, and wax pigments to create a creepy mix. “Ever had the co-worker from hell? This collage might capture that sinking feeling.” (See also Adam's traditional chinese brushwork paintings in his etsy shop.)

Words like other art supplies can be manipulated to reinforce their meaning. Of her piece Out of Reach Trish Czech says “The word play in this piece centers on the words ‘hours’ and ‘ours’. When read aloud, they become nearly interchangeable, changing drastically the meanings this short poem could have.”
Sometimes it’s difficult for us to speak our feelings out loud but our art can convey these thoughts. Hurry, Run by Meagan Cutler employs original typed text on graph paper, glazed onto hand manipulated carbon paper, covered with transparency and black marker and black corner stitches. “ Where language is limiting, my painting steps in.”
And through an art work we can convey our true identity. In an art doll from Vintage Arts In the time it takes for a star to fall the artist incorporates memories plus tangible objects from her past to convey a present day image of the artist “Star was the name of my first doll. This little girl is a true artist. Her mind is so full of ideas she can't even hold on to them all.”

Even when we do not speak a particular language we can still enjoy its atmosphere as evidenced here in Zora La Rouge’s illustration that incorporates Else Lasker-Schüler’s poem ‘Mutter’. I know that this isn’t an original poem by the artist but I thought the German speakers out there might enjoy it; and that the fashionistas would enjoy checking out her contribution to the worldwide wardrobe swap group!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lay About With Your Valentine

Don't have a valentine of your own? Or not 100 percent happy with the one you do have? Why not whip yourself up a custom one! Erika Kern gives free instructions here on making this little fellow. You can even put your custom requests into with the stuffing as well. And I’m sure you could do a bit of customising in the looks and sexuality department...

If you like the way Erika thinks, check out her store, My Imaginary Boyfriend and maybe purchase a cushion for you and your valentine to laze about on.

What…one cushion’s not enough! You could make sweet music together on a record cushion from friends Esther and Shelley of Toggle. They combine crocheting with wool felt and embroidery in their unique pieces.

Don't mind being watched? Then throw in a screenprinted Victorian Mary cushion from Common Decency.

And to show your valentine that you’re an arty type, add a cute Paint by Numbers cushion from Nora Jane onto the pile.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pop Rock

When I heard that it was fifty years this week since the early passing of Buddy Holly, J.P. ‘Big Bopper’ Richardson, and Ritchie Valens in a plane crash it started me thinking about the music and art of this era.

Like a lot of people, I don’t like ‘labels’ – for types of art or ways of living, but they do make it easier to write about things, so I’m using the term ‘pop art’ here. The 1950s saw both the birth of rock and roll music and the pop art genre. Like the music of the 50s, the ‘pop’ style of art focuses on popular, as opposed to elitist, culture. Pop art explores the everyday imagery that is so much a part of contemporary consumer culture, often incorporating everyday images from advertisements, consumer product packaging, celebrity photographs, and comic strips.

Just to set the scene for this era the clip at the top of the page shows Buddy Holly singing Peggy Sue on American Bandstand in 1958. Check out the introduction, the clothes, and the cardboard cut out type people in the background. Just a tad different to the current music clips.

I think that Buddy would enjoy these flashbacks to the 1950s.

Dress from Peta Pledger

Shoes from Vintage Fashion Addict

Handbag from Retro Threadz

Glasses from The Vintage Supply Co

Necklace from Vintage Principessa

Boudoir Ensemble from Maisy Brown Repro Retro

For a crash course in early pop art have a look at this. It’s a bit school teacherish but still informative.

And pop art, like rock music, is still around today albeit in different forms and utilising different technology. You can purchase contemporary digital pop art from these stores.

Carte Postale by Emma Kidd from from Benconservato

Hair Portraits by Miss Crowland

Superheroes Among Us 13 from Estasketch

Never Enough…Bags by Lucy Claydon for LottieFrank

Pop naturally led artists in to other art genres - a whole 'nother story. But i have to add a FREEBIE from Ela Steel an artist who works in Pop Surrealism. You can print out your own Creepy Desk Pals as featured in her shop, Steel.