Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guilty secret

It's a bit shame but I love collecting stamps. It is such an interesting indicator as to what was topical and popular in certain decades. Some subjects it seems, are unshakeable. Cute animals, various forms of transport, and national art seems to be the supreme winners of stamp art. Oh, and the Queen. Of course.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I used to be a checkout chick

I've a confession ...

Admittedly this post is veering off our usual path and as our blog-reader relationship is still young and we're only getting to know each other post by post, we may not be here yet and I could be crossing a line ... however, I must confess. Something that I have only recently, truly grasped and accepted about myself ...

there is no physical trait in a man I appreciate more than hair. As in chest hair. Hair and being a red head. Preferably a rugged combination of the two. Swooon.

Thank you, it feels so good to admit that openly!


If you are having any doubts about what to hire next time you are at the video store, choose Daisies. Two brazenly cheeky Czechoslovakian girls both by the name of Marie indulge in a series of ridiculous pranks reaching the conclusion that if they are spoiled then the world must be spoiled too. Half fantasy, half reality they carve a path of anarchy and recklessness, taking advantage of silly old men who buy them dinners and expect something in return, unwitting members of the public and in the end, each other. Beautifully filmed and utterly bizaare it is one of the best movies I have ever seen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The rainbow box

I never grew up with The Rainbow Box set but by golly I wish I did! Enid Blytons 'The faraway tree' sent me to magical places but this is an uncomparable aesthetic delight! Divided into Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter it is lovely. Images courtesy of The snail and the cyclops.


 When I woke up this morning I couldn't help but feel a touch of nostlagia for India. I wanted hot wet heat, bright fabrics and the combined smell of sandalwood, pollution and coconut oil. I missed temples, swims in the river at 7am and the simultaneous sounds of horns tooting, crows overhead and market hecklers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bensemann and Beardsley

Leo Bensemanns illustrations stare back at me every day as I work. They are both creepy and comforting. As an artist largely overlooked and vaguely known in the history of New Zealand art, his body of work is slowly becoming recognised. Sitting through historical New Zealand art papers at university I became slightly indifferent to the unrelenting depictions of lush landscape and Maori culture. A master of typography, Bensemann came to shine when he unleashed his imagination in the form of Art Nouveau inspired swelling curves, trailing ropes and coiling snakes. He was also largely influenced by Japanese woodcut and T.S Eliot poems. A peculiar character who preferred to stay out of the limelight, it seems Bensemanns vast and diverse works are finally surfacing, giving green rolling hills and native wildlife a run for its money.

"I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing."

Aubrey Beardsley, king of erotic illustration, gained a lot of fame and notoriety in his life time. His works also stare back at me each day as I work. Not as creepy, but definitely more eccentric and sexual. Also inspired by Japanese woodcut and Art Nouveau, Beardsley worked mostly with ink, leaving large areas of blank paper contrasting against smaller areas of intense detail. His life was not of a shy or retiring man with rumours plaguing him regarding an incestous relationship with his sister, homosexuality, his friendship with Oscar Wilde, his convertion to Catholicism and the tuberculosis which he eventually died of.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

surprise shots

Don't you love taking a mystery film in to be developed and rediscovering photos you had forgotten you'd taken?

A letter in the post

I know I have mentioned this, but my Grandmother has exquisite writing. I, on the other hand, have a loopy scribble that means packages are often lost in the mail or returned to me because the postie cannot work out where it is supposed to be going. I find notes, reminders and lists lodged in my jeans, blazer pockets, handbags and even my underwear draw.

There are 17 exercise books piled up in my room, each filled approximately three quarters. Each book has wildy different writing, the penmanship is schizophrenic. While I am excellent at writing to myself, I am guilty of rarely writing to others. I email, everyday. To work colleagues, my friends, and in reply to my mothers ever constant stream of nosey questions that find there way across cyber space into my inbox. Unfortunately, they do not know my penmanship.

I love you MJ but you're scaring me

With the self deluded granduer that can only come from living at the highest heights of fame, MJ's commissioned portraits are scary. He took joy in the naivety and innocence that only a child can possess and there is nothing wrong with that. I do think he was innocent and an easy target because of his strangeness and (soon depleted) wealth. At very least the portraits highlight how the late king of pop was living in a pure state of delusional fantasy wonderland.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I wish I was ...

I physically ached with jealously when I found these stunning hand rendered illustrations, in pencil and ink, by Catherine Campbell, I ooze jealously!

I just like ...

For reasons I can't put my finger on, I just really like this photo.

Hear, hear!

I've missed my polaroid camera too.


"Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible"
-Edwin Land, inventor of instant photography.

Polaroid is back in our lives!! Thanks to the impossible project you can wipe away your tears, pick up your camera and revisit the wonderful world of instant photography. Happiness. At last.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was recently flicking through my copy of 'The Ocean World' by Jacques Cousteau. It had been sitting at the bottom of my book pile collecting dust when suddenly I felt overwhelming pangs of admiration and love for such an amazing man. I decided I needed to revisit the ocean adventure promptly.  Captain Cousteau was a pioneer, explorer and innovator dedicating his life to the sea, and all forms of life in the water. His popularity was re boosted in '04 with Wes Andersons charming and offbeat parody/dedication to him in 'The Life Aquatic'. I desperately wish that Cousteau was my uncle, David Attenborough was my grandfather, and together we could launch out on fantastical expeditions encountering near extinct bugs, traipsing through rain forests, sailing on remote and unknown seas and generally having a jolly good time.