August 31, 2009

Fryup : Compulsive behaviour

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.

Fave blogs?
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.

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

Amateurhour : Frankie says snap

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

Multitalent : Overwhelming joy

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

Inspired : Seeing new things

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.
Chinese Proverb

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.
Greg Anderson

Yes, I understand, you need more more more Komatoes. Here you go...

August 20, 2009

Curiosity : Meet me at Frankie's

Among the many gorgeous blogs I check daily, Meet Me At Mikes is a favourite crafty one. It's clever and nice and funny and everything I look for in a friend. The other day they had a post called Here's Where I'm Up To and they encouraged other bloggers to steal their idea (like only a good friend would). So I did. And here's what I'm up to...

Making : A silly card for hubby's birthday tomorrow... drawn with crayon
Cooking :
A whole chook with preserved lemon and Herbie's Jamaican Jerk seasoning in the slow roaster
Drinking :
Dandelion tea with manuka honey
Reading: Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
A roomy (massive), dreamy (old yet structurally perfect) three-story terrace on Bourke St to decorate
For new ways to decorate our current terrace home!
Playing: Little Voice
by Sara Bareilles
Less and less the older I get
Not so much, really
These early spring days would go on forever
The sun rising a little earlier each day
For an excuse to wear my new Miss Selfridge maxi
Green & Black's organic dark chocolate with cherries (if by 'liking' you mean 'addicted to and cannot live a day without')
What new words my niece is trying out this week
Stewed apple and rhubard with fresh ginger on my morning porridge
Hoping: I can find a good, local upholsterer for my bargain chairs that won't rip me off
At the nasty sting a paper cut can deliver
A bandaid
The divine Sohum Apple Fig & Vanilla candle on my desk
MNG peachy pink cardi, FCUK jeans & ugg boots
The creative lives of angry chickens, pretty things, constant gatherers & funny cats
How much happier I am with a kitchen full of organic whole foods
Enough about pesticides and hormones... ewww... to stay well away
About how much I'll enjoy devouring my new Mindfood mag tonight
Etsy Etsy Etsy, Oi, Oi, Oi
Opening: The glossy black door to No. 9 this morning to meet a friend for brunch was the nicest surprise
Giggling: At the sigh of a sheep toy being tossed about by my staffie

Steal away! Write your own somewhere and let me know so I can check out whatcha doin' xxx
Pic above by me at Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

August 17, 2009

Snappies: Leaving it all behind

I love a good party. I also love a good surprise, though no-one's ever surprised me (I honestly don't blame them), I've thrown plenty of 'em. Two days ago my dad, bro and I surprised mum for her 60th. It was such a gorgeous lunch in the sunshine. Mum almost fell over when she saw friends who had flown in from Melbourne and Canada (they were our neighbours back in Toronto where I was born). There was a vast amount of wine, smoked trout, roasted meat, baked winter vegies and flourless choc cake consumed. Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and The Supremes accompanied conversation and laughter ruled the day.

Now don't you just adore these pics by Rebecca of lovely Cornwall? I chose the pastelly party-ish pics to keep me in a fun mood (it's hubby's birthday on Friday). I can only dream of capturing such simple moments so beautifully. Here's a few sweet facts about Rebecca...
What gets you in a creative mood?
Good lighting, sunshine and feeling the wind on my face.

What makes you laugh?
My friends. At the moment Flight of the Conchords and The Chasers War on Everything on BBC4 have been brightening my Tuesday nights.

What's been the highlight of your career?
Leaving it all behind and moving to the seaside.

More fabulousness:

August 13, 2009

Snaplock : Rare 'n' precious

I've never been more drawn to pastels in my life than in the last six months. Normally I would read quite substantially into such a fact, but not today. No, today is not for introspection. It's a day of sunshine and scrambled eggs and dandelion tea and lovely books (currently devouring Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger). It's also a day for perfectly romantic and sophisticated pics... such as these here by lovely Lynda, aka, Among the Hedgerows

When did you pick up your first camera?

It was while I was studying interior design. I took a photography elective because it looked like fun. I had to borrow a camera for the course but absolutely loved every minute I was there. When it was over I promised myself that someday I'd get back to photography.

It took several years before I picked up a camera again but about 3 years ago I grabbed a point and shoot camera my husband had bought but wasn't using. I haven't stopped taking pictures since. I received my first DSLR a couple of months ago and now there's no stopping me! Other than that one course in college, I'm completely self-taught.

Fave magazines?
My favourite magazines are Somerset Life, Romantic Homes, Victoria and English Home.

Daily blogs you can't miss out on?
My daily blog reads consist of Creature Comforts, Decor8, Heather Bullard and Modish.

from top down: Peonies, Hydrangeas, Columbine and Lilacs in a Vintage Watering Can.
More: &

August 11, 2009

Clickfest : Isn't she lovely

Morning peeps. The heater is cranking, Stevie Wonder is soothing my soul and it's my staffie's 7th birthday. My lovely, crazy (and currently snoring) Scout is 47 in human years. Hence the grey hairs creeping onto her chin (join the club dawg). Although I must hand it to her, she still runs like the clappers and tries to sniff cat's butts at every given opportunity.

In unrelated, but equally exciting, news, I'm in love with these pics by Bree, aka Citrus Hearts. Typewriters and flowers.... LOVE. Here's a few things you need to know about Bree...

What makes you laugh?
My husband teaching my kids dance moves.

What are you reading?
I started reading the Harry Potter series and I'm in love with them I'm almost done with the first one.

What is your favourite subject to shoot?
I really love shooting anything and everything but what I would love to shoot, (but never do because I'm shy), is people candid on the streets.

Favourite time of day to shoot?
When the sun is setting.

Pics from top down: It's the little things, Lonely, Long way from home, Love Letters and Dreaming of fall.
More: &

August 7, 2009

Snapoff : Sunny sippin' and flickin'

Frankie says: Take time to sip tea in the winter sun while waiting for a prosciutto sandwich on organic wholemeal rye... *satisfied sigh*

Frankie also says: Take time to chat and laugh and eat with the nicest of friends

Chill 09: Next time it gets a bit warm in your hood, throw some ruby red grapefruit juice, mango juice, kaffir lime leaves and ice in a blender. Slurp it like it's 2009.

Hubby captured the bizarrely beautiful light that flooded our backyard tonight. Crazy dark clouds, rich golden light and a neighbour's palm tree. Love this shot!

Super weekend y'all xxx

August 5, 2009

Snaphappy : Love and light

Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go round,
And some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pajamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway-guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
it wasn't ever there:
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all it's time at the races,
Or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my shoes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

O Tell Me The Truth About Love
W.H. Auden

My favourite poem in the world,
accompanied by a few deliciously light and breezy polaroid pics by

August 3, 2009

Talentcomp : If you love something

The fam got together last night at a Malaysian restaurant to celebrate my sis-in-law's birthday. After we gorged ourselves on curries and delicious things I was playing with my niece on my lap, she was trying to put my hair up my nose. After a while she cackled and said "Aunty Kris is funny." Made my night. What a little gem.

I think laughing at yourself is so important. Last week I spilled tea on my laptop. All over it. Ruined it. I was devastated, really down on myself and terribly annoyed. After I took it into Apple and realised repair costs for this would be too expensive, so I'll have to buy a new one, I let myself feel sad for a minute and then realised - hey, I'm healthy, hubby's healthy, puppy's healthy, the fam is healthy, I have a magical life and this isn't going to bring me down! So I laughed at myself for being a dork and moved on.

Happily, Am, the self-taught graphic artist behind 3LambsGraphics chuckles at her own flaws too. Her prints here have really brightened my day... as have her answers. Here she is...

What makes you laugh?

Ironies and idiosyncrasies - the little things you notice about people and situations that make you laugh, but also endear them to you and make them memorable. And I laugh at myself - a lot! I'm not the most coordinated person...

What other creative outlets do you have?

Photography is my other love. I always have a camera on me! I collect old film cameras as well, most of which are sadly neglected at the moment. It's finally warmer here, though, so I'm hoping to use quite a few of them before the summer is over.

I'd really like to learn how to use metal clay, just for fun. It seems so versatile, but I'm a bit intimidated by the firing and polishing aspects!

What are you reading?

I always love Martha Stewart, especially for color palette ideas. HOW Magazine and Print are great as well. Flipping through their design annuals always helps me get over artist's block.

What are your fave blogs?

For blogs, I can't help checking out Just Something I Made on a daily basis. She's always coming up with original and creative projects, and she posts wonderful freebies (many of them vintage!). Design*Sponge, Modish, Housemartin, The Dieline, and Green Island Studios are other favorites. I also read quite a few cooking and baking blogs - messing around in the kitchen always de-stresses me! Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Dorie Greenspan, Chocolate & Zucchini, and Creampuffs in Venice all have delicious recipes and great stories to go along with them.

Pics from top:
If You Love Something, Set it Free; The Feathered Family; Dandelion Wishes; Blossoming Dogwood and Yield to Love.