Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It is picnic and BBQ season though, so I was thrilled to find these beautiful bamboo bowls over at Re:modern. I love plain bamboo or cornstarch veneerware as a sensible alternative to plastic disposable products anyway, but these manage to up the anti in the style stakes!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo (via PTML).
I encourage you to pop over to this site and offer your support to the people of Iceland, who are, I'm sure, NOT a nation of terrorists. You can also check out a gallery of peaceful protest postcards here.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
lots of fine, fresh food and wine,
and fun times with loved ones.
Some willow branches served as a simple Christmas tree
next to a little nativity scene - baby cheeses in a manger:
I sewed some hand- and finger-puppets for two dear little boys
... and babysat my mum's spoodle.
So all is well here. Thank you for all your kind Christmas wishes, and may year's end be a peaceful one for you.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
It's been wonderful to make so many new friends in blogland, and as dodgy as it may sound to make friends online, I just love this new way of armchair-travelling and sharing ideas.
So, to my friends and family near and far, best wishes for the Christmas season and a safe and happy New Year.
Eat, drink, and be merry!
(pic from here)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Although I've spent most of my life in Australia, my family still maintains some European traditions. We always celebrate Christmas on the 24th, and while I was growing up these celebrations were large, colourful family affairs, filled with delicious European dishes, exotic drinks and much singing in German and Russian (helped along for the adults by some old-style vodka ... Nasdrovje!).
My cousins, sister and I always performed some kind of song or play (often in German) before opening our presents... this one sticks in my mind for some reason:
Lieber, guter Weihnachtsmann,
zieh die langen Stiefel an,
kämme deinen weißen Bart,
mach dich auf die Weihnachtsfahrt.
Komm doch auch in unser Haus,
packe die Geschenke aus.
Ach, erst das Sprüchlein wolltest du?
Ja, ich kann es, hör mal zu:
Lieber, guter Weihnachtsmann,
guck mich nicht so böse an.
Stecke deine Rute ein,
Ich will lieb und artig sein!
My wish for you is for a very happy, safe and cosy Christmas, and that the New Year brings prosperity and joy.
All the best ....
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
my friends and I had an amusing conversation about the weird phenomenon of 'big things' being built as tourist attractions. They're just so dodgy ....
Some well-known 'big things' in Australia include the Big Banana, the Big Pineapple, the Big Gumboot, and the Big Merino (sheep), and I recently drove past the Big Lobster on my way to the Coorong.
Two of the more disappointing 'big things' that I've visited are the Big Orange, in Berri, South Australia (basically a big orange ball with a staircase inside it),
and the Big Shell, in Tewantin, Queensland, Australia (which wasn't really very big, from memory).
Today I read about a natural 'big' phenomenon in Arizona, USA ....
Have you visited any 'big things'?
Friday, December 19, 2008
Gus likes giving away toys as well ...
"When I make a work, I often take it to the very edge of its collapse, and that's a very beautiful balance...."
Realising that many friends are not familiar with the work of Andy Goldsworthy has prompted me to write a little more about him here. It's difficult though, because I find it almost impossible to articulate the beauty and sensuality of his work, or the intensity with which it can elicit emotional responses. His sculpture is a sensitive, intuitive response to nature, light, time, growth, the seasons and the earth.
Wikipedia offers a rather bland description of the artist, but I would heartily recommend reading some of his many books or watching the documentary Rivers and Tides, so that you may understand the story behind his pieces and the conditions under which they were made.
Goldsworthy's sculptures are created with natural materials, such as local rock, stone, leaves, sticks, or ice, and are often held together with thorns, sand, woven sticks or graduated sizes of the main material source. Many are ephemeral, designed to be washed or blown away by rain, wind, tides, or time. He uses extraordinary colour, pattern and textural combinations, seeking out the brightest leaves to contrast with surrounding natural elements, or blending tones with a subtlety and sensitivity that highlights and honours the complexity of natural forms.
An Amazon editor elaborates:
"Andy Goldsworthy is a particularly gentle and sensitive artist: he stitches together leaves to forms lines, often placed in water, or makes circular slabs of snow, or entwines twigs in an arc. He creates a delicate spiral of chestnut leaves, called Autumn Horn; he pins bright yellow dandelions on willowherb stalks in a circle, on bluebells; he makes lines and cairns, like Richard Long, of pebbles; he makes hollow, circular structures, like igloos, from slate, leaves, driftwood and bracken; he makes long wavy ridges in Arizonian desert sand; he makes arches, globes, hollow spheres, slabs, spires, spirals and star-shapes out of snow and ice.... The sculptures exude tranquillity, an early morning calm..."
I can't do justice to his work in a simple little blog post. Here are a couple of excerpts from the documentary to provide you with a glimpse:
Oh - I'm not sure how to embed a Googlevideo - click here for a lovely little Autumn piece.
More video snippets on YouTube
Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue
General images of land art
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I found this lovely shop today, via Apartment Therapy NY ... it reminds me a little of Arthur's Circus in North Melbourne.
As well as toys and homewares, Three Potato Four stocks a prints by various artists, including two of my faves - Geninne Zlatlkis and Matt Cipov. I guess it makes sense, as they all share a certain aesthetic style.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today I saw 'Hunger ', the directorial debut of Irish artist Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fassbender as IRA hero Bobby Sands. My head is still reeling several hours later. This was one of the most compelling and harrowing films I've seen in a long time, and at one stage I didn't think I'd be able to continue watching. I'm glad I did though because it's a brilliant piece of cinema, demonstrating the exceptional talents of the director and actors alike.
When it screened at Cannes, some audience members walked out, while others gave it a standing ovation. I think David and Margaret sum it up well - the film is quite extraordinary.
It's not easy to recommend 'Hunger' as some people might find it too gruelling. However, if you're drawn to powerful cinema experiences, definitely check it out (and let me know what you think!).
Click here to read a review from the UK Telegraph.