Thursday, May 29, 2008

Espresso Heads Winner!

Yay! It's time to announce the winner of my giveaway. Firstly, thanks to those who entered. I enjoyed reading your caffeine related comments! Very enlightening! You guys sure have more diverse tastes in hot beverages than I do. Pumpkin Lattes? Wow! Never even heard of those before! I like coffee & I like pumpkin, but can't for the life of me imagine the two together tasting so good. I will be adventurous & try one if I ever see it on a menu somewhere, as I am intrigued by that combo. My preferred coffee style is rather boring in comparison to others. I drink Flat Whites. I drink them at home & I drink them at cafes. I'm not sure if 'Flat White' is a universal term, but it's basically a shot of espresso topped up with steamed milk with a fine layer of foam/crema. No froth. No flavours apart from sugar. I also love Italian Hot Chocolate! Sadly very few cafes in Brisbane make them. If you're not familiar with Italian Hot Chocolate, it is chocolate so thick that it needs to be eaten with a spoon. It's like chocolate pudding in a cup! Delicious! Ok, announcing the winner of the giveaway now. Drum roll...

...and the winner is...

Congratulations Sandra of Bubble Babble blog! Espresso Heads will be airmailed to you as soon as I have your address.

All bubble-wrapped, packed & ready to fly! Thanks again everyone for playing along. I'll have another giveaway next time I have something to celebrate. If I can't think of anything worthy of celebrating I'll have random giveaways regardless. Just because they're fun to do. In relation to the reason for this giveaway in celebration of finally opening my Etsy shop, I'm really happy about having a couple of sales within the first week. I wasn't expecting to sell anything straight away. If ever in fact! So thanks so much to those two sweet buyers who purchased my ACEOs. You gave me a real boost!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday

I currently have a real fascination with Light/Shadow photography, initially inspired by the many gorgeous photos that capture the play between light & shadow so beautifully on The House in Marrakesh blog. Super fab blog filled with stunning images. Love it! So now I'm going to attempt to play around and take some Light/Shadow style photos and post one on my blog each Sunday. If anyone else wants to play "Shadow Shot Sunday" and post your photos on your blog that would be great! Let me know so that I can check them out! Here's my first one...

Edit 25th September - I've created this Shadow Shot Sunday button.

If you would like to display this button on your site that would be great. To do this you'll need to copy and paste the following code.

<a href=""><center><img src=""/></center></a>

If you'd like to display the linky button in the body of a blog post, paste the code directly into your post wherever you'd like the button to appear.

If you'd like to display the linky button in the sidebar of your blog, click on 'customize' then click 'add a gadget' then choose the 'HTML/JavaScript' option and paste the code directly into the content section. This will work for Blogspot/Blogger blogs but I'm unsure about how things work on other types of blogs.

Any problems please feel free to email me. My email link can be found in the 'Contact' tab. A big thanks to Paz for suggesting I create a Shadow Shot Sunday button!

Added 27th December 08

Shadow Shot Sunday info:

1. Please only submit your link AFTER you’ve posted your shadow shot to your blog/site, and ONLY if you are participating in the Shadow Shot Sunday meme. It is not a requirement that you link back to this blog (although a big thanks to those who do as it is appreciated!) but you do need to mention somewhere in your post that you are participating in Shadow Shot Sunday. An easy way of doing this is to display the SSS button. Again, it doesn't even need to link back. Just some sort of mention is required. If not, your link will be deleted. That's fair enough isn't it? I think so.

2. The SSS posts are published early Sunday mornings Australian time. Don’t worry about the time zone difference as you may participate Sunday Australian time or Sunday your time (which may be Monday Aussie time if you’re from America). Mr Linky closes each week on Monday evening Australian time and all blog/site urls submitted will be exported as 'live' html links and will remain displayed on the SSS post that they were submitted to.

3. I copy/save a selection of the shadow shots for inclusion in the collages with links back to the individual blogs/sites by way of crediting participants. If you’d rather that I not include your photo but you’d still like to participate in SSS that’s certainly fine. If that’s the case, simply leave me a comment or email me (link in top of sidebar) letting me know not to include your photo.

4. Mr Linky saves your details from the previous week, so if you’ve added a static page url rather than your standard blog url be sure to change it when adding again. If you make a mistake with adding your link just add it again with a note next to your name saying “correct link” and I’ll delete the other when I get a chance. Or feel free to email me if you have any problems with anything.

That’s all folks. Now go shoot dem shadows!

Update 8th July 2010

I've just created another little SSS button, so feel free to use this one instead of the older one if you'd prefer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Giveaway!

In celebration of finally listing something in my Etsy Shop I’m having a giveaway. Perhaps a weird thing to celebrate, but considering I set up an Etsy shop months ago & it has remained empty until now it is something of a major achievement for me. I’ve only listed three of my ACEOs so far, and the remaining seventeen that I’ve done I will list in spurts throughout the week. Anyway, enough about that and onto the giveaway! I’m giving away my first 2 ACEOs that I made. These two are my favourites and I wanted to give them to a wonderful blog reader rather than offer them for sale. These two are original artworks (all ACEOs I’ll be listing in my shop will be originals at this stage). Espresso Heads are acrylic on canvas, attached to mountboard & I’ve framed them together in one of my thrift store (op-shop) frames that I picked up recently. The frame measures 7 x 9 inches in total.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favourite style of coffee. Simple! I certainly do not wish to exclude tea drinkers, so if you prefer tea, then just tell me your favourite. Or you may drink neither but really like hot chocolate. That’s ok to. Just list your favourite hot beverage. All bases are covered that way. The giveaway is open to everyone as I’m happy to post overseas. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you should you win. You can enter until Wednesday 28th May (Australian time) & I’ll randomly draw a name out of my big coffee pot early the next day & post the winning name on my blog. Thanks to everyone who checks in on my blog, you are all really so wonderful & this giveaway is just a small token of my appreciation. I wish it could be more…

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Icelandic Waves

Currently screening at the GoMA Cinematheque is a program called Icelandic Waves. The program is a series of documentaries celebrating the music culture of Iceland. I was particularly excited about this program because Sigur Ros and Bjork, both musical favourites of mine are featured. I attended the screening of Heima on Friday night. Heima is a film diary documenting a series of free concerts that Sigur Ros performed in 15 obscure locations around Iceland. They performed in deserted fish factories, national parks, ghost towns, remote community halls, the highland wilderness and even darkened caves. The film perfectly captured how the band are linked to the land and how it inspires them and is reflected in the atmospheric music they create. I love their ethereal "soundtracky" style of music mixed with the beautiful and haunting falsetto vocals of their singer. Sheer bliss. The film Heima is available on DVD, but it was nice to have an opportunity to experience it on the big screen. This coming Friday evening are the Bjork screenings. Yay!

I've been a huge fan of Bjork forever. Well, not quite forever, but since she burst onto the scene way back with the band The Sugarcubes. Even prior to The Sugarcubes, Bjork was in numerous other bands and had been performing and releasing music since she was 11 years of age. The films on Friday night will feature performances by a 16 year old Bjork with punk/jazz ensemble Tappi Tikarras and some rare Sugarcubes footage. Woohoo! As well as the amazing events that GoMA have been presenting in their Cinematheque, they continue coming up with the goods in their gallery spaces. For the first time outside Europe, exclusive to Brisbane, an exhibition of Pablo Picasso's personal collection will be at GoMA in June. I've been looking forward to this one for ages. Only 15 more days until Picasso!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite - Oxfam

Today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day. I've chosen to participate by writing about Oxfam Australia, an independent, non-profit community based organisation and one of Australia's leading aid and development agencies. Oxfam Australia is part of the Oxfam International family, which consists of thirteen Oxfams all working together to fight poverty and injustice in over 100 countries. Oxfam Australia began in 1953 in Melbourne and was then known as the Food for Peace Campaign before changing its name to Community Aid Abroad in 1962. Community Aid Abroad became affiliated with Oxfam International in 1995 and it was in 2005 that Community Aid Abroad became known as Oxfam Australia. Oxfam Australia currently works in over 30 countries across East Asia, South Asia, Southern Africa, the Pacific, and in Australia within Indigenous communities.

Image from the Close the Gap national touring photographic exhibit. Photograph © Wayne Quillam/OxfamAUS

Oxfam's Close the Gap campaign is calling on Australian governments to take action and commit to closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians live nearly 20 years less than other Australians. Close the Gap is Australia's largest campaign to improve Indigenous health and seeks to achieve health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Oxfam Australia's Vision: is of a fair world in which people control their own lives, their basic rights are achieved and the environment is sustained. We aim to increase the number of people who have a sustainable livelihood, access to social services, an effective voice in decisions, safety from conflict and disaster, and equal rights and status. Our work is a partnership through which Australians enable poor and marginalised people control their own development, achieve equitable treatment, exercise their basic rights, and ensure the environment is healthy and sustainable - Extract from the Oxfam Australia website.

Make Poverty History supporters spell out their message in Sydney. Photograph © Michael Myers/OxfamAUS

Oxfam Australia is one of the major aid organisations included in the Make Poverty History coalition in Australia. Make Poverty History is the largest anti-poverty movement in history.

Ethiopian coffee farmer showing off his ripe red coffee beans. Photograph © Martin Ward/OxfamAUS

Buying Fairtrade coffee products ensures small-scale farmers in Ethiopia and other parts of the developing world earn a decent and fair return for their work and enables them to afford the basics of life for their families. Oxfam Australia's Fairtrade Campaign assists in raising awareness of Fair Trade issues and actively supports the producers through the sale of Fairtrade products in the 22 Oxfam shops across Australia. Oxfam shops carry a large range of Fairtrade coffee, tea & chocolate, as well as beautiful gift & home decor items crafted by talented artisans from developing countries worldwide. Purchases made at Oxfam shops contribute to providing sustainable development for disadvantaged communities and makes a real difference to people's lives.

One of my Oxfam purchases, a handmade set of cuties from Bolivia

I greatly admire the work of Oxfam and all of the volunteers who contribute their time and energy to assist the organisation. An organisation that actively works towards improving human rights through its strong commitment to long-term developmental outcomes. Oxfam continues to work tirelessly, passionately & creatively in forming partnerships within developing countries. Their ongoing focus being supporting people to help themselves to bring about lasting change within their communities, promoting & working towards sustainable development and social justice. Oxfam is an admirable and enterprising advocate of human rights and a most worthy organisation to support. Onya Oxfam!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pocket Paintings

I've been having fun lately discovering and immersing myself in the wonderful world of ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions & Originals). An ACEO search on Etsy alone will bring up a gazillion pages of these little treasures of art in their variety of mediums. From paintings, drawings, mixed media, collages through to intricate papercut art. All unique but all sharing one thing in common. The size. The all important and very specific size. ACEOs measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches. I've been attempting to paint some ACEOs (thanks to the suggestion made by this here fab person) and I've not found them to be an easy size to work with. I generally paint in small scale, but ACEOs are REALLY small in comparison. It feels awkward at this stage but I'm hoping it will become less so with the more I do. Besides the awkwardness, I still very much enjoy making them. They are fun to do! I plan to soon list some on Etsy. Here's a small sample of some ACEOs I've painted so far. Some of these I've painted using Art Spectrum pigmented inks (I love these inks & can't gush about them enough!) and some using acrylics.

As evident here, I'm currently obsessed with painting birds that look like billiard balls. The b&w 8 ball only so far. I think I'm also obsessed with the number 8. I have a passion for all things Super 8, and 'eight' sounds like 'ate' and I'm thinking any number that relates to food is a goodie. Although if 'eight' sounded like 'brussel sprout' I don't suppose I'd like it as much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Buddha!

I celebrated Buddha's birthday over the weekend by attending the annual Buddha Birth Day Festival. The Chung Tian Temple have been organising and hosting this much loved and popular festival at Brisbane's Southbank Parklands since 1997. From humble beginnings of an approximate 5000 visitors, the festival has significantly grown over the decade and is now considered to be one of Queensland's most prestigious cultural events. Attracting in excess of 150 000 visitors each year it is recognised as the largest Buddha Birth Day Festival in the world. "Harmony in All" was the theme this year, promoting a peaceful existence and appreciation of Australia's multicultural identity. Here are some photos I took on the day.

A small section of one of the many Flower Offering Ritual displays

The colourful Bathing Buddha ceremony staged at the Suncorp Piazza

A Lion Dancing performance outside the Cultural Arts marquee

And it was just after taking the above photo that my camera batteries died. And I stupidly forgot to take spares with me. Aaarrrgh! So I didn't take as many photos as I'd hoped to. Although, as part of the festival there is a fantastic photographic exhibition by Anthony Anderton called "One Road - Many Paths" at the Tony Gould Gallery, QPAC. While the festival is now over, this exhibition continues until May 31. The exhibition features photos that were taken on assignments throughout Tibet, China, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia & Thailand. Also included are images of Buddhist traditions in Brisbane. The good news is, if you're not a local & are unable to attend this exhibition, many of the images can be viewed at Anthony Anderton's website.

"Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent" - Dalai Lama

I like that theory. I think I need to practice the latter more. Zip!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Five Fab Foodie Faves

I received an Arte Y Pico award recently from the amazingly talented and beautiful Xue, of Xue-Originals. Thanks ever so much Xue! I'm now passing this award along to five foodie blogs that I think are awesome. Coming from an art-themed blog, it may seem a strange choice to pass the award along to foodie blogs, but I believe it's all relative. The creating, displaying, photographing and writing about food is an art form not so unlike any other. I also have a special fondness for foodie blogs because it was through those that I was introduced into the world of blogging in general. It was the discovery of foodie blogs that lead me to all sorts of other wonderfully interesting and inspirational blogs.

My plan for the photo for this post was to arrange my Ferrero Rocher chocolates to read "I ♥ Foodie Blogs" but only completed "I ♥ Foo" because I didn't have enough chocolates. Damn it! And the "I ♥ Foo" looked more like "I ♥ Poo" anyways. So I proceeded to eat the chocolates while looking for something else foodie related to photograph. There was nothing very inspiring in my fridge or pantry so I took a photo of the remaining chocs. Quickly, while there were some still remaining. That's no longer the case. They were super delicious and I'm more than a little disappointed that I've none left, but the following blogs are more appealing to me than a big box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates anyhow! Here are my five faves:

The award goes to:

Chocolate Nerd
Milk & Cookies
Post Punk Kitchen
These are well written, informative, stylish, fun filled foodie blogs brimming with gorgeous photos to drool over. Blog appetite!

I'm now heading off to the Buddha Birth Day Festival, so hopefully I'll have some nice photos of the event to share in my next post. Photos that I hope will not in any way, shape, or form, resemble poo.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Mad in May

I am currently so super smitten with the art of Simon Degroot. Simon is a Brisbane independent artist and a prolific participant in community and public art projects around town, with six years of extensive solo and group exhibitions around Australia. Simon employs strong imagery and his work has often been described as graffiti like in style. I'd simply describe it as fanflipintastic! Simon will be launching his self-published artist book featuring a range of artworks and critiques as part of his upcoming exhibition of latest works titled The Happy Mad at Cylinder in Fortitude Valley. I can't wait for this one! Only one more day. It opens tomorrow. Woohoo!

A Flock © Simon Degroot (this & other works available to buy here)

"My artworks are about personal development, about reaching into memories and experiences to try and better understand my place and myself. Through my works I try to find a balance between inside imaginations and outside realities"
- Simon Degroot.

The Happy Mad exhibition from 2nd May until 9th June at Cylinder