Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bits n bobs

Hello! How are we all?
Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I did. Lots of food, drink and family to share it with. It was fun but I'm glad all the hoo-ha is over with now. I even packed up my Christmas tree today. It's all over for me for another year.
I am now officially on holidays. I am still going to work on tummache stuff, and a few personal paintings & things. I'm trying to take it easy but I'm finding it hard to relax. I feel guilty, like I should be doing something.. I do however have a list of things I would like to get done on my break.

1. Michelle's mini quilt for swapsies. Top of the list! I can't believe it's taken me so long. I do have a good idea for it though.
2. Practice guitar & ukulele. Poor neglected things. I'm even thinking of getting some lessons. (In guitar.)
3. Clean this grubby house!! I started this today as it was really in a shambles as I've been so busy. The garden is included in this task.
4. Go on some long leisurely walks with my two mutts.
5. Show all youse guys photos of The Thirsty Flowers book launch.
6. Make a bundle of bags, purses and other odds & ends for my shop. I made this little fella today, he's in there now.

I know there's more to add to the list but I can't think of them right now. Plus the list is making me feel exhausted and I don't want it to be too long!!

Here are some shots of a really smokey day we had because of the Victorian bushfires. They are under control now I'm pretty sure because of the heavy rain & snow we've recently had. Snow. Yes, snow in summer. Christmas day was the coldest on record this year.. with Melbourne really living up to it's erratic weather reputation. Hail, rain and sunshine all in one day! It's crazy I tell you. I hate the cold too. Christmas here in Oz is usually a summer dress and bbq event. Looks like you can't plan ahead when you live in Victoria!
Anyway, I wanted to show these photos because I took them specifically for my blog! My eyes were really stinging this day.. the middle photo is taken from our block of land.

In some other fine and dandy news the lovely lady behind Decor8 blogged about me. What a great resource her blog is for all that is unique & stylish. Lucky she sifts through all the crap out there so we don't have to. She blogs about etsy sellers frequently it seems, which is a good thing. Support the artists I say!

Modamuse also found me and is another resource to find cool unique designs in Australia & New Zealand. I love checking these sites out. There's so many talented creative people out there who I'd rather support whenever I need a pressie for someone, or even something for myself rather than the big faceless department stores. Yeah!

I think that's enough for today ;) I bought a bottle of Bailey's with some xmas money today, so I'll be digging into that soon. Yum-o!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ok, one more post for today

Have a look at the latest review that was in Sunday's Age for The Thirsty Flowers! Here's the link. I never tire of reading the reviews!

Now in my etsy shop...

The first necklace is in my shop tummyache. I have some more ideas and drew some in my sketch book at 2am the other night. Then I couldn't sleep as designs and ideas were flowing through my head all night. As always happens, I eventually got to sleep then felt like a zombie in the morning.
Just a quick post this morning to show the necklace.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yay for swing tags!

I designed these swing tags to accompany my bags & purses in my etsy shop. I just printed these out on my trusty old inkjet printer and cut them up to see what they'd look like. I figure I can keep printing them out or I may get two stamps made up and stamp them. I love the stamped look. Wish I could get some of that stamp stuff that Tricia from Frizzlesticks always uses. Is that stuff even available here in oz? I could make the background image myself but would have to get the other colour professionally made. Or else I could just gocco them. I have not used my gocco yet. This is almost criminal. I plan on taking a little holiday break from illustration and this will give me time to do some stuff for me that I've been hanging to do, and using my gocco is one of them. I had to dust box the other day. Sad!
Anyway.. I stray from topics so easily!
Thanks for all your comments on my last post everyone. I love reading my comments. I love it when someone finds something in my posts that they feel they'd like to respond to. Compliments are great and the extra little insights are a bonus. Then I discover things like I have a kindred spirit out there! rrramone, you sound as though you have good taste!
You know, there was something missing from that list, and those things were 4 favourite bands. Or at least favourite songs. I shouldn't have written that though as now I feel obliged to choose. Maybe next time...!

Monday, December 11, 2006

What's this tag game all about?

I've been tagged by Tiel from tsk tsk. This is new to me in blog form.. yet looks like fun! I always love those emails that friends and family send to you with answers to silly questions which you copy into another email and answer yourself. Mainly because I feel a sense of obligation, which saves me from work for a while. Plus I get a strange sense of satisfaction from filling out forms, and this is kinda similar. So here goes:

4 jobs I have had:
-Mushroom picker. Not your romantic gathering in skirts forest type, but 8 hours a day monotonous job in sheds on ghastly tall trolleys type.
-Factory work at my Dad's work looking in paint chip catalogues for missing or folded colour chips with a pot of glue at the ready. (Also extremely monotonous!)
-Retail work in a milk bar for a nasty woman. Karma got her when the place burnt down. (Wasn't me- I swear!! Now that makes it sound like it was me! I'm really not a psycho!)
-Kitchen hand in a smokey bingo centre.

4 movies I could watch over and over:
-Napoleon Dynamite.
-Spongebob Squarepants.
-Stand by me.
-Being John Malcovich.

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now):
-Kemps Creek, NSW
-Near Cooroy, QLD (I've got a serious mental blank and can't remember the name.)
-Diamond Creek, VIC (I grew up here.)
-Preston, VIC

4 TV shows I love:
-Ali G
-The Office
-Neighbours (oh so ashamed, especially because it's really gone down in quality lately (if that is at all possible)
-Ren & Stimpy (The OLD original ones... How did they ever get away with it!!?)

4 places I have been for a vacation:
-Lake Lonsdale (The place our family used to go for camping trips when I was a kid. Many fond memories.)
-Fraser Island QLD, beautiful. I remember going there when I was young and seeing the brumbies. They aren't there anymore unfortunately. It's also the only place that pure dingos still exist in Australia.
-China. Crazy, scary, interesting, grubby, inspiring, busy place.

4 websites I visit daily:
-My blog. As it's my home page because I love to see if there are new comments for me to read.

4 favourite foods:
-Ice Cream. Love it. Throw away the lollies & chocolate. Just give me ice cream.
-Vegies. As my brother once said, don't give me fruit, but back up a truck load of vegies and I'll be happy.
-Chicken. As a vegetarian once, I am strangely in love with the taste of this meat.
-Does beer count as a food?

4 places I would rather be:
-Somewhere where the weather isn't erratic and 37 (98 F) one day then cold, raining and windy the next. (BLOODY MELBOURNE WEATHER!!!)
-Having a beer by a fire listening to some old tunes.
-Morrocco stocking up on some cheap lanterns.
-The Outpost. A really cool pub in Noogee, VIC.

4 people I am tagging:
-Future Girl.
-Sarah Davis.
-Kim Fleming.
-Beck Wheeler.
(Sorry guys!!)


Now for photo of new items in my shop. I made these on the weekend and tried out a new fun way of taking photos. What do you think?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Illustration Friday topic: "might"

My effort for this week's topic. A quickie, still using my new wacom & coral paint program. I've only got the trial.. I wonder, does this test picture warrant the actual purchase of the program? I love how it's verging on the line between a digital image and real one. I love chunky paint effects, so it's cool that I can do that here without getting paint on the carpet/ my clothes/ the dogs. (Yes, it has been done.)
Still, it's like a vitamin pill compared to fruit. Still fun with good looking effects nonetheless.
Oh, and someone told me it would take half a day to get used to this wacom pen.. half a day. If you read this James, you are either extraordinarily talented or a liar. Or maybe you are both! :)

Also, a new print has hit the shelves at Tummyache. Check it out ;)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Human Junk Mail

You know them. They're those people that knock on your door trying to sign you up to contracts/ sell you things/ or gather your personal information for surveys. Disturbing the peace, invading the time we spend in our own homes.
I talked to one of these guys for about 40 minutes the other day, while I was supposed to be working. He was successful in signing me up for a new gas & electricity retailer by giving me false information. Not only did he waste my time there at the door, but further time was wasted ringing up my original billers, then ringing up the new one's to cancel the account. I told him I was on a contract with my other company, so I could not sign up with him. He told me that it didn't matter, and had a look at my bills and told me I was not on a contract with them anyway. Which I was. He said it would still come from the same place, so it wouldn't matter about the contract even if I was on one.
At the start I didn't care what he had to offer, I didn't want to sign anything. I told him my partner looks after all that stuff (a lie to try to shake him off) and I didn't want to hear about it. He would not take this for an answer. He laughed down at me like I was stupid for not taking the offer; like he couldn't believe his ears that I didn't want to save 7% on my bills. He told me that my neighbours had signed up. I told him, "I don't care what the neighbours do!!" If my neighbours jumped off a bridge, I wouldn't be there joining them.
At the end of the stressful emotional encounter, I had signed up for the new retailer. Emotional because at one point, I felt like bursting into tears of fraustration for him to just listen to what I was saying and to leave me alone. I was also checking the driveway frequently as Jim was due home and I was hoping. The stress was at the start of the encounter, later on we somehow ended up chatting for a while about people being ripped off by dodgy salespeople. We talked about his study and how he'll return to India one day. We talked about how the rough suburbs of western Sydney were quite a contrast to the nice and friendly streets of Warragul. We talked about sunburn.
My dislike for the door to door salesman started off at a normal level on opening of the door, which peaked with the early fraustration. Then he made me think that he wasn't so bad. We parted on friendly terms. The dislike has returned twofold now, after ringing up & finding out that I was on a contract and I would be charged a $90 exit fee. Dislike because he wasted my time. They come to your door and do not take no for an answer. In future I don't care what they're offering me, I don't want to give my money to companies that bully people into buying from them and knock at the door at 7pm.

Jim came home soon after and I spent more precious time telling him about the story! He came up with the term "human junk mail." (Feel free to use it, I think that one's a keeper.)

My mobile phone rang the next day, and I answered it wondering who it could be. I thought, maybe it's a client? Or maybe it'll be one of my mates ringing for a chat? Instead I got "Congratulations. You have been chosen for a special promotions offer..."

They get you from every avenue they can. I especially hate it when it's invasive like these two examples.

On a lighter side it reminds me of a Futurama episode where Fry gets outraged that they project advertising into your dreams in the year three thousand. Leela asks him, "didn't you have ads in the 20th century?" with which he replies: "Well sure, but not in our dreams! Only on tv and radio...and in magazines...and movies. And at ball games, on buses, and milk cartons, and t-shirts, and bananas, and written on the sky. But not in dreams! No sirree."