November 9, 2009
Just a quickie to say I've decided to finish this blog. Art, illustration, photography, etc, are a much-loved hobby, but in the end another blog called my name. I'm focusing my energy on a wellness blog that ties in with my job. So although I'll miss meeting incredibly talented peeps here, I know the move is right.
Thanks to everyone who read this blog, and big hugs to the amazing crafty people who took the time to answer my questions and let me plaster their works all over the cloudburst. Follow your dreams amigos!
See you here: cravingsandinspiration.blogspot.com
October 1, 2009
I'm the happiest aunt ever. I spent Sunday to Tuesday at my bro's place in the Hunter Valley playing with my little niece and gardening with my sis-in-law. Sunshine and mulberries, she's so cute! My sis-in-law and niece stayed with us last night and I'm about to have morning tea with them. Perhaps later when they head back to the country I might get some work done. In the mean time, I wanted to share these divine pics with you.
I love Shelli's - aka Studio Mela - work. Her illustrations are fresh, spunky and a whole lotta beautiful. I wish I had the innate ability to work with colour, but alas, I don't know much. I just work with what I love and hope it all goes together. I also wish I had the ability to not procrastinate, but that's another kettle altogether.
Back to Shelli... you should head here if you want to see more of her illos, here to check out her blog and here to see some cute and colourful mini cards.
Pics from top down: Hello Sunshine, So Very Happy, Curiosity and Give Good
September 24, 2009
I was in a crowded cafe today having lunch with a friend. My beautiful friend was chatting away about numerology and the planets and the girl behind her looked over at me a few times, uncomfortable with our proximity. It would have been the usual case of person goes to delicious cafe, person forgets how popular cafe is, person sits unsure of self listening in on others wondering why they're so open and chatty, person sips coffee and makes a run for it. Except the girl behind my friend had loads of make-up on, really nicely done, but not suitable for anything outside a Friday night or fashion shoot. Glancing around the cafe she just looked at odds. With herself mostly.
It's amazing what we communicate with just our eyes, and often don't realize it. A glance can convey all the love or hurt in the world... make-up doesn't hide any of it, it only illuminates how you feel.
And here we have a coupla dolls, gazing down a Polaroid's lens, conveying a novel full of sassy story lines. Hilarous! I'm a sucker for a beautifully shot flower, but flowers and doll faces together? Heaven. Meet the super sweet lady behind these pics... Nancy of Futurowoman Fotographie
What do you love about Texas?
I am a native Californian, so Texas is an adopted home. One of the things I really love about Texas is that people here have a "live and let live" attitude about life. There is a strong streak of "don't tell me what to do, and I won't tell you what to do" in the Texas identity, and I love that. People are very friendly, and Texas is so diverse! You meet people from everywhere, everyday--there is something for everyone. Although I miss my home state, Texas is a great place to live!
What makes you laugh?
I love dry, sarcastic humor, and I also laugh at the weird antics of my dogs, a terrier mix named Orson and a whippet named Laika. They are hilarious!
Any hidden talents?
I'm not sure if these are "hidden" talents, but I love to cook, and in the past couple of years, I've gotten into making preserves. I love to pick fresh fruit and make jams! This summer, I've also gotten into making homemade ice creams! My favorite so far has been Absinthe Ice Cream.
Favorite subject to photograph?
I love to take photos of my dogs, both artistically and as personal family heirlooks. I also adore old vintage signs, botanical subjects, and the sky. Basically, I just love to take photographs! :)
Polaroids from top down: Blythe / Gentle River "Who, me?", Peony, Blythe "Hello Bitches" and Purple Artichoke.
September 22, 2009
I've been watching seeds sprout and I can't even explain how exciting it is to have a vegie garden in its early stages... in our backyard! We've got parsley, capsicum, chilli, tomatoes, snow peas, butter beans, green beans, rocket, cucumber, baby carrots and spring onion so far. Thrilling! One day I'll make a salad from it all and that'll be super delicious.
Speaking of fresh, how ace are these illos by Vanessa, aka Inkblot? I like Vanessa from sunny Brighton. It appears we have a few things in common: jogging, red nail polish, pistachio ice cream, polar bears, math... but enough about the sisterhood, here's Vanessa in her own words...
What's to love about Brighton?
Brighton is the kind of place where 'anything goes', it is truly bohemian and has a thriving creative culture. The combination of the multicultural, fun-loving, friendly inhabitants, the huge community of artists and the sea and fresh air is extremely inspiring indeed. I have grown up here and love it. Also all the museums and shops in London are only a short train journey away.
Who inspires you?
My family inspires me. My siblings are all ambitious and hard-working and very encouraging and supportive of my achievements, talents and goals. I particularly admire people who have become successful from having nothing and coming from poor backgrounds and working their way up by sheer hard work and determination.
There are also many Etsy artist/designers that inspire me. I think the work of Betsy Walton is incredible, it makes me feel like I am dreaming, it is so weird and beautiful. I came across Art and Ghosts recently, which is also amazing, dark and beautiful. I love the work of Brandi Strickland for her unusual and vibrant collages.
(PS Brandi was featured on Cloudburst Beauty back in April... for the interview go here).
Any hidden talents?
I do not have many 'exciting' hidden talents... I think I must put all my energy into my art and design! If I had to find some things, I would say that I think I can run quite fast, have an A-Level in Maths, am an experienced skier and am extremely good (read competitive:-)) at Pictionary and usually on the winning team!
I absolutely love printpattern.blogspot.com and also designspongeonline.com (especially the 'Sneak Peeks'), I have only recently got into reading blogs and have spent more time reading through the archives of these than finding new ones but I know there are loads of cool blogs just waiting to be found! I love yours for a start, so I will have to add it to my list! (Thanks so much V!).
Illos from top down: Teacup, Bloom, Lovebird and Leaf.
September 15, 2009
Well hello again sweet things, sorry I disappeared for a week. Tre busy here at chez frankie, lots to do and so little time to indulge. (Missed you too.)
There's something so sweet and whimsical about these photographs and drawings. They're soft and fun and I like 'em a lot. They're by Blake at elle.bee in sunny South Florida. Here's the low-down on Blake...
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
The name of the store is elle.bee because some of the artwork is my twin sisters and her name is Lauren and mine is Blake so we took the first letters of our name.
What & who inspires you?
I am inspired by everything around me. I take inspiration from my family and friends. They are usually the ones to encourage me on what to paint next. Painting is probably my favorite of all the arts. I find it very peaceful and a release from the world. I prefer to use acrylic paint, you can never make a mistake, but this goes for all art... I guess. I am going to dabble in more watercolor i think.
What music do you listen to?
I love old music!!!! I grew up listening to classic rock! I'm a huge Beatles fan. Okay a little obsessed! Not like posters, pins, and pens kind of obsessed. More like the music and lyrics and life of them.
Lately I have been listening to and digging people like Etta James, Al Green, and Billy Holiday. AND from our time I have really been enjoying Adele. Her music is so smooth, (listening to her as I type this).
Pics from top down: I want to ride my Bicycle, Pastel 3, Enter and Pastel 1.
September 7, 2009
It's been a random and mostly awesome weekend. I caught up with friends for a chai in the sun, saw Inglourious Basterds, trecked through the markets, discovered a most excellent crocodile-patterned old suitcase (for $15... will post pics soon), had a father's day picnic on the central coast and to finish it all off gave myself food poisoning. Brilliant!
Speaking of randomly awesome... I'm crazy about these here kitchy cool 70s style prints and iron-on transfers. They're by Mandy in Adelaide: she can be found at her withwallpaper madeit shop (check out the cool gift tags and calendars), etsy store, flickr stream and blog. Buseee! Here is the lovely lady with the inside info...
Has drawing always been a hobby?
A hobby, a compulsion and a vocation. I used to entertain the idea of other occupations, but when I finished high school the idea of just drawing and painting all day was absolute heaven to me. I went to art school and then studied graphic design at university, so I guess it was never going to be anything else.
In what other ways are you creative?
I like to have a nice environment around me at home and you definitely need to be creative on an artist's income. I also try to be creative in my cooking (with mixed results).
What are your fave blogs?
I look at lots of different blogs and websites on a regular basis like theselby & sfgirlbybay. I absolutely love ffffound for inspiration.
What else are you reading?
I like reading autobiographies more than anything else (real life is so much more interesting than fiction!), but lately I have been reading novels set in the 1930s by writers like Evelyn Waugh & Nancy Mitford -I think they are quite semi-biographical anyway.
September 4, 2009
Award-winning, Brooklyn-based photographer Gary Heller captures beauty in the strangest ways. He makes sad and abandoned scenes look oddly romantic and beautiful subjects look fragile and a little gloomy. Either way, I think it creates more depth, a bigger story. If these were in a gallery I'd stop and ponder a while. Here's Gary...
What's your favourite subject to photograph?
Some of my fave things to shoot are things that portray abandonment, isolation and mystery. The specific subjects can vary.
When did you first pick up a camera?
I first picked up the camera seriously at end of 2003.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by many and cannot name anyone specifically. I loved album art and comic/fantasy book art as a kid growing up. I get inspired by things and visions in my dreams as well.
I don't get to read nearly as often as I would like but I love mystery, science fiction and thrillers. There are so many great bloggers out there and so many talented artists and photographers that it's hard to keep up with it all. It can get overwhelming.
More (including toilets, barns and bridges): garyhellerphotograph.etsy.com
Pics from top down: The little things in life, Broken promises and Bonsai.
September 3, 2009
There's a beautiful quote by author and artist Kahlil Gibran... Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Like most peeps, I don't like being around anything to do with pain, it's so so hard to experience it or see it in a friend.
When I was retrenched in April, I didn't see the silver lining for a little while. But now I'm living the dream... exceptionally happy writing from home. I can shop on eBay, write my blog, walk my dog, make a smoothie any time I want. So long as I meet my deadlines, I'm free to make my own schedule and that's just the way I like it. Pain is temporary, knowledge is forever.
Now here's a happy artist with a great story to tell... meet Melissa Moss...
I used to take the slow lane into work. I didn’t care if I was inhaling the fumes of a semi if it meant I would get to work later. Each day my soul seemed a little heavier.
In 2002, my amazing husband helped me realize that not only was I miserable at work, I was miserable just thinking about going back. So after a few freak outs, I left the publishing world to study color psychology and during my course work, discovered my true passion…painting.
Color is my primary artistic element. I’ve studied the meanings and associations of colors and their subtle shades and tones and use this knowledge to convey the mood of each painting.
Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many artists and by nature but mostly I'm inspired by my 2 year old son. He just makes it easy (most of the time) to get up in the morning.
How do you indulge?
I love to go to movies by myself. So when I'm feeling like escaping that's what I do. But I've also been reading the Twilight books. Definitely a guilty pleasure.
I usually just look at my friends blogs...Cathy Nichols, Marisa Haedike (Creative Thursday) and Outi Harma. That's about all I have time for.
More more more: melissamoss.etsy.com
Pics from top down: too happy, nice to me, the arrival & baby mine.
September 2, 2009
You know a movie is something special when it sits with you for a while. Last night we saw such a movie: Beautiful Kate, directed by Rachel Ward, and it was amazing. Shot in Adelaide and the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, starring Ben Mendelsohn, Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths, as well as a few newcomers that will light up the screen again and again, it was quietly romantic, unusual and simply stunning. Ben blew me away, as did newbie Sophie Lowe, and the breathtaking mountainous surrounds, wildlife soundtrack and languid pace.
These amazing pics by Carrie Becker remind me of the set of the film. Cracked, old, weary, mysterious and full of stories. Here's Carrie...
What inspires you?
It's the natural, subtle colour palettes that I see everyday that inspires me.
When did you start playing with cameras?
I began photography as a freshman in college in 1996.
What's your favourite subject to photograph?
I really enjoy documenting "beautiful decay", and/or desolate, isolated spaces.
Pics from top down: Two Chairs in Blue Room, Drawer Fronts with Crackled Paint, Haven Modern Motel - Living Room and Storage Shed Interior.
August 31, 2009
Let's start this new week with a big high five for me. I've made it a month without alcohol or coffee! I've also eliminated sugar in most of its guises (save for wee nibbles of dark chocolate, occasional scoop of gelato or a touch of maple syrup on my porridge) and a whole bunch of other processed garbage.
And don't I feel good. I've been waking early and jogging most morning with the dog. Energy levels are awesome, thanks for asking. Jeans aren't so snug. Eyes are clear. I can skip past a pub at 5 on a Friday and not cry, order a chai latte at a cafe without eyeballing the coffee beans and I can even get to 3:30 on a Monday without thinking about a block and a half of milk chocolate. It's a little virtuous and a whole lotta fab. Let's see if I can make it to three months.
Now if I had come across Canadian dude Neil, aka Beepart, and his bacon bits a few weeks ago, I would not have looked on his work so favourably. But now I'm able to withstand the sight and smell of bacon without turning into a craving, dribbling mess, I love it. All of it. I love the reclaimed wood, rounded edges and randomness of it all. Go Neil.
Have you always been creative?
I think I started drawing as soon as I could pick up a crayon, it's something I've always done. It's a type of compulsive behaviour. I've always been drawn to the aesthetics of things and wanted to recreate stuff I saw on paper.
What are you most proud of?
What I'm most proud of professionally would be just being able to make a living as a freelance illustrator...when I first started out I wasn't sure it was going to be possible. I'm sure my family wondered too...
What makes you laugh?
Witty, intelligent humour... and South Park too.
I have to sheepishly admit that I'm not a big reader of blogs, but I do get email updates from Cupcakes Take the Cake so I can look at tasty cupcakes throughout the day.
FYI I still eat ham... the urges must be cared for somehow.
Pics from top down: bacon, yellow vespa, love sucks and yellow ham
August 28, 2009
These roses have been sitting in a little square tealight candle holder all this week, opening slowly. Funny how one little branch with two perfectly imperfect flowers are just so incredible to watch. Ah, it's the little things, innit?
I heard that epsom salts absorb radiation from puter screens and phones. So I prettified some noodle boxes with floral paper, filled them with epsom salts and put one behind each puter in the house. They turn to powder when they've absorbed all they can so you know when to refill. Luckily I found 50kg for a bargain here. I also have a bath with 1kg of epsoms in it every week. And apparently a dip in the ocean is the best way to rid the radiation from your body. Hooray!
Last weekend we were hanging out with puppy (below) at a park. On the way back to the car I saw this diving board that wouldn't look out of place in a 60s motel in Florida. Love the colours. Spring away...
Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not superhuman. Success does not require a super-intellect. Nor is there anything mystical about success. And success isn't based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves and what they do. Never sell yourself short.
David J. Schwartz
August 26, 2009
I haven't discussed my issues with Being a Gemini in a while, but today is the perfect day to do so. Why? you ask. What's wrong? you enquire. Well, let me tell you. It makes me eternally fidgety. Some peeps feel a bit restless here and there, but mine sits with me most of the time. Which means a bunch of good stuff, like I'm flexible, spontaneous, laugh a minute, all that. But it also means that every day has to be different. You'll rarely see me in the same outfit, eat the same meal (certain exceptions exist, namely roast chicken with leek and potato) or watch the same movie twice (alas, Pretty Woman, American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, you can light up my screen any day).
However, I'm right on the Cusp of Taurus. Stubborn, unchanging, persistent, self-indulgent little bulls. So although fleeting, when I find something I like, nay, something I LOVE, I stick to it. Like house-building glue. Until I change my mind of course, but that's another therapy session right there.
Which brings me today's illustration by Kai at KootiesCloset. It's called Modern Love and I'm so in love with it I had to feature it in all three colours. (And look, twin birds, such Gemini appeal). Kai has a treasure trove of an etsy shop, containing bespoke stationery, gift tags and cards, stickers, pocket mirrors and jewellery. So enough of me, here's Kai... (such a sweet name)...
What do you love about art?
The overwhelming joy that manifests in my solar plexus as a result of appreciating or producing it.
What makes you laugh?
The Mighty Boosh!!! Nighty Night, Bill Hicks, Ricky Gervais, Larry David, Russel Brand's Ponderland, anything Douglas Adams, Metalocalypse, Home Movies, David Sedaris, This American Life, Conchords, Zack Galifinakis, silly animal bloopers and 80s pop videos.
Any hidden talents?
Let's see...I can wiggle my ears, write with my toes, sniff out a lie... do these count?
Fave Etsy Shops?
Well, I love my friends, of course - GypsyDreamcrafters and sickboyvintage, and my mom - Enzedr (she's from New Zealand). I also LOVE lakeillustration, matteart, PressaRussa, 12fifteen, FourcrowsArt and too many others to mention, so browse my favourites already!
August 24, 2009
I'm a little excited about featuring these magical pics by Dave, aka ©Komatoes. I've started to imagine what I'd do with them if they were mine. I think I'd put Less than perfect, above, on a massive canvas on the wall in my study and Perrrple, below, in a black frame in the living room. Pyramidal Orchid (third) would look dreamy in a limewash/white frame above the bed and Blue grass (bottom) could go on an eco tote I'd take shopping. Deevine. Here's Dave on his talent... (and a couple of my fave quotes to kick off your week).
What do you love about photography?
I love photography because it makes me notice the world around me in a way that makes me appreciate it more. You start to see things that you just wouldn't have seen before.
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.
When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.
Yes, I understand, you need more more more Komatoes. Here you go... flickr.com/photos/dsambells