Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Can So Too Sing

Singing Sally Stone by Garden Stones

Apparently humans sang before they used language as we know it. And even as language developed singing continued to play a major role in day to day life.

And They Sang All Day Photo by Ara 133 Photography

Not so long ago most people sang daily, individually and in groups, in homes, in churches, in pubs, in nature. Singing is sacred and everyday, ritualistic and spontaneous.

The Tinest Accordinist by Road Side

The benefits of singing are linked to this primacy and power of the human voice, and our basic instinct to use it.

He’s A Singing Fool Vase by Mad Mud

Singing is something we all did when we were born, regardless of genetic makeup.

Boris, Felt Figure with Moon and Music by Raspberry Bumble

For the first nine months of our lives all the billions of us on the planet sang by relying on manipulation of our voice's pitch to meet our basic and fundamental needs.

Joy House for Melange 'Fun' Challenge. Click here to see more.

A singing teacher told me that there’s no such thing as not being able to sing.

Vintage Porto Baradio Mini Bar Radio (the perfect singing accompaniment!) from Catalin Radio

It’s just a matter of deprogramming ourselves from the voices that have said ‘You can’t sing’ or, in my case, ‘Muuuuum you CAN'T sing!’!

Go on now, it's your turn....I'm know you're good...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Frocks n Props

Mohair Hat Collar and Cuffs Pattern by Violet Chartreuse

I like looking at fashion photographs. As much, and often more so, for the photography as for the clothes. And props, well, as long as they don't overpower the clothes, they can turn a photo into an artwork, a visual story. Sometimes, yes, nature is the only prop needed. But today, in this post, are some frocks with props that I like. Yes I know the one above is an accessories pattern not a frock but everything in the photo is gorgeous, including the white bundle. Even though the love that I have for my own departed bundle hits me in my solar plexus when I look at it - or maybe because of it.

Lucy Custom Made Dress by My Black Dress

I wonder why we don't use sun umbrellas more, particularly here in Australia in summer. Such an underrated fashion accessory. And rain umbrellas, well, you get to be in your own protected little space under the low clouds, in the softer light, and with sounds more acute, resonating - that's if it's soft down rain, or tropical rain that comes down like a heavy sheet hard and straight. If it's sweeping rain you just need to forfeit the umbrella, stop struggling, and get swept along.

Speaking of water, who'd have thought of combining a dress with a hose. But oh wow doesn't it look great. The punch is in the surprise I think.

The Amazing Canyon I Saw Tunic by Nostalgia

The Spring Manifesto Dress from Attila Design

A nice big pair of wings paired with this unconventional dress makes an arresting pic. I think this prop is made with Photoshop. It's a magical tool - but sometimes it's better not to know how magic works. Okay I'm lying. I want it.

Spring Summer Dress by Natalie Low

I have a weakness for photos of washing hanging on a clothes line. Whether in a back garden or strung from a balcony in a little back street, these scenes sing to me of sunshine, breezes, freshness and home.

Allie Maternity Dress by Heidi and Seek

Stuffing! The perfect prop for a maternity dress if you can't have the real thing. Looking at this pic reminds me of being pregnant with my son, so thin and with such a small 'basketball' bump. I remember a friend asking if I was having a 'bird' - the bird was a healthy 6lb 11oz/3033g. If I put my hand on my stomach I can still remember how his little foot felt beneath my hand, beneath my skin.

Striped Baby Doll Dress by Ouma

We all have them. In the photo trunk. Little memory strips. Funny faces and big innocent eyes.

Pianos can be memory catchers too. I love to play my Dad's grand piano - even stumbled efforts seem beautiful - but I enjoy listening to him play even more. Not for him the sheets of music needing to be referred to, just the internal hum of memory.
With All My Love Dress by Sarah Seven

Drew Barrymore in Elle

Last but not least from the Darling Drew the ultimate prop, a pool. Who else could look so good fully submerged. Not that I'd want to go swimming in a dress. Swimming with no clothes is the ideal, but here I have to settle for a swimsuit. Still enjoy it tho - particularly at night time under the stars, floating on my back, gazing up.

(When you head over to Elle to check out Drew's story, check out an editor's recent diy video showing you how to make the 'latest' shoulder pad fashion...sewing three, yes three shoulder pads together to slip inside a lovely blouse and make it look supposedly 'worth thousands' but to gross!)

I know I haven't said anything about the clothes. I like them all. I'd wear them all. No, maybe not the maternity one. I'd give it as a gift to someone I love who's expecting. Maybe not the manifesto one either. I'd hang it on the wall as a work of art. I could get some wings to put behind it...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


She’s Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult Magnet by Alison Strine of Lady Bird Designs

You can understand and relate to most people better

Vulpes Volpes Photograph from Pamela Klaffke

if you look at them no matter how old or impressive they may be

Papa Bird Stops By The Nest - Ceramic Sculpture by Melabo

as if they are children.

Wrestling Salary Man Silkscreened Print from Alyoisius Spyker

For most of us never really grow up or mature that much

Pink Knitted Wig by Meagan Reardon and with FREE pattern.

we simply grow taller.

Freak Them Out Sleep Mask from Freaky Old Woman

O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less

Beard from I Made You A Beard

and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults,

but beneath the costume is the child we always are,

Bear Sleeping Bag from artist Eiko Ishizawa. Not yet for sale but inspirational.

whose needs are simple,

Panda Bear Mask Print (with original stamping) from Matty 8080

whose daily life is best described

Turfed Roof Farm Houses in Iceland on Well House Consultants

by fairy tales.

( quote from Leo Rosten)

This looks like Albert Einstein, but if you stand up and take several steps back, roughly 15 feet away it will become somebody else...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Surrealism In The Outdoors

Photos 1 and 3 by Lucy Nieto

I suppose that we all titivate our gardens - some more than others. While watching the ABC series, Around The World In 80 Gardens I saw this garden and it really got me thinking - about art and immortality, art and money, art and power, art and the notion of beauty, art and labels. All this thinking of course just gave me a headache and the realisation that if art mirrors life, then the politics of it will do likewise - whether we agree with it or not - and we each just have to do what is right for us.

The British multimillionaire Edward James made his name between 1920 and 1930, as a surrealist poet and collector or surrealist art - he was a patron of De Chirico, Magritte and Dalí - he collaborated with Dali to produce the Lobster Telephone and the iconic, red-satin Mae West Lips Sofa. But it’s through his own surrealist art work, the gardens of Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico that his name lives on.

In 1948, after spending most of the Second World War in Los Angeles, James went to Mexico with a friend to look for a site to house his growing orchid collection. The travellers came across the pools of Las Pozas, and James's friend immediately stripped off for a swim.

As he sunned himself afterwards on a rocky outcrop, a cloud of smoky-mauve butterflies appeared suddenly and covered his entire body. James took this as a sign and purchased the land. Over the next 20 years, he paid annual visits to Las Pozas, constantly adding new orchids: by 1965, he had 18,000 plants. But a freak three-day snowstorm killed the whole collection.

So James began instead to cultivate giant plants made of concrete - to say nothing of towers, obelisks, pavilions, bridges and spiral staircases. Hidden within the rainforest is a surreal concrete jungle - enormous man-made trees, bamboos and flowers –that range in height from 1.2m (4ft) to 9m (30ft), designed by James and built by Xilitla men. James was also wild about animals of all sorts, travelling the world with snakes in his luggage, and many of the garden pavilions were designed to hold an aviary or a menagerie.

A poem written by Edward James, prior to his death in 1974 -

I have seen such beauty as one man has seldom seen;

therefore will I be grateful to die in this little room,

surrounded by the forests, the great green gloom

of trees my only gloom - and the sound, the sound of green.

Here amid the warmth of the rain, what might have been

is resolved into the tenderness of a tall doom

who says: 'You did your best, rest - and after you the bloom

of what you loved and planted still will whisper what you mean.

And the ghosts of the birds I loved, will attend me each a friend;

like them shall I have flown beyond the realm of words.

You, through the trees, shall hear them, long after the end

calling me beyond the river. For the cries of birds

continue, as - defended by the coretege of their wings -

my soul among strange silences yet sings.

Read more about the interesting background and life of Edward James here.

I find the Las Pozas gardens fascinating, and would love to visit them, to see them up close, to photograph them. Another that I'd love to visit is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall, in the UK. The beautiful contemporary piece Mudmaid is installed there.

Photo from JohnnyH

Definitions of any kind can be limiting, and confusing. There's a simplistic easy to understand definition of ‘surrealism’ here and a not so easy but interesting one - an Andre Breton lecture - here.

These days, besides having to use 'tags' on internet selling sites, there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on labelling an artist's work. Maybe like fashion some terms are 'in' at a particular time. There's plenty of art on Etsy that fits into the surrealist definition but is tagged fantasy, steampunk, neo gothic, neo victorian, strange, dark, edwardian, noir, dada, whimsical, fairy tale.

And I've learned something big by checking out these tags - you can put more than one word in a tag space and each individual word will show up in a search! I had no idea!
Below are a few 'surrealism in the outdoors' artworks from the ever inspiring artists of Etsy.

Groundhog Hair Print by Amber Alexander

Not All Good Journeys Are Bad Print by Bryan Collins

Beginnings Print by David V Moore

Black Rose Cameo Brooch by Lush Punk

The Night Belongs to Them Print By Jaime Best of Best Art Studios

Eggplant With Chicken Legs Sculpture by Melissa Sue

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Punk Rock Tutu by Mom 2 Two Girls with photo from Intrigue Photography

Since I came back from my little holiday
Orange Dance original hand drawn cards and envelope from Lertsis

I’ve felt so damn tired -
A Single Thread photograph by Zseike
all that playing and talking and eating and drinking
Beautiful on the Inside Dancing Monkey Silkscreen with Hand Stitching and Collage by Emma Kidd of Ben Conservato

– but it was worth it.

Skipping Freaks Card from Frantic Meerkat
I’ve been asleep with my eyes open but

Tango Print by Tsk Tsk

slowly I’m waking up

Where the Wild Things Are - Relic - leopard skin jasper, etched onyx and sterling silver necklace by Realisation Creations

and feeling the need to dance again,

I Love To Dance Hair Clips by Chantilly Bowtique
to shake my groove thang, to cut the rug….

Isadora Duncan photograph from FanPix

"You were wild once. Don't let them tame you." -- Isadora Duncan