Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our lady

I was raised in a devoutly catholic house. Crucifixes, rosary beads and mournful looking Marys were in abundance. My mother prayed solemnly every night and Sundays were always dedicated to church. 

When I was 14 my mother and I travelled to India and made a pilgrimage all the way to the Bay of Bengal. A large church had been built in a small town called Vailankanni after three miraculous sightings of Mary. It was a really crazy experience and I saw some unforgettable things; people kneeling on nails, old men offering to pray for my soul and choruses of people worshipping, wailing and singing.

I stopped believing in any form of religion when I was 12 but the love of religious paraphernalia has remained, particularly for Mary. I find something comforting in it, mostly it just reminds me of Mum. In her room she has a wooden box beside her vanity filled with all things dear to her, pictures of Dad looking handsome in flares, my brother and I as kids, prayer cards, letters from her mother and rosary beads galore. Whenever I go home I love touching the ornate wooden box and looking at her most prized and intimate items.

Now whenever friends see a particularly kitsch looking Mary they are usually kind enough to send it my way. Over the years I have built up quite a collection. To a stranger my home might look like that of a fanatic! 

Pictured above from the top, a postcard I received in the mail this week from a Japanese friend, a prayer card from Ireland, two Marys I picked up in my Mums hometown now at home amongst my makeup, a gifted pendant, two pages from a pilgrim prayer book that my Mum gave me when I left for Japan.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The kindness of strangers

On Tuesday a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch destroying homes and buildings as well as many peoples lives. Unfortunately the death toll continues to rise with hundreds of people unaccounted for. I feel so lucky that all of my friends are safe and out of harms way. Right now the city is in ruins and thousands of people are homeless and in desperate need of aid. 

The positive that comes out of this situation are the stories of goodwill and kindness from generous people all around New Zealand and the world. In Wellington they've orchestrated a bake off as well as a benefit show which has gathered much support and many people are parting with belongings for those less fortunate. People have also opened up their homes for those seeking refuge, the kindness knows no bounds. 

Even if you're not in New Zealand donating is very easy, here are links if you wish to give money to various causes. Also, super lovely artist Kelly Thompson is donating 30% of all retail to the Red Cross. 

This afternoon I am making packages for friends in Christchurch. They have lost their homes so I am hoping that some Japanese sweet treats and nic nacs will cheer them up, even if it is just for a moment. Mail is expected to be operational by Monday. If anyone would like to send a package to someone affected by the earthquake please email me on and I will send you a name and postal address.

 There is much kindness and love that can come from such events. In times of tragedy it is best to focus on what we can do to help.


seurat – a sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte
manet – le déjeuner sur l’herbe
gauguin – spirit of the dead watching
cezanne – the bathers

I love these comparisons! This is a spread from the December 1969 edition of US Vogue. Gahh, if only fashion magazines (especially Vogue) were more like this. I feel like things used to be more inspired, alive and relatable. 
Fortunately there is now a sea of online resources, one of the best being youthquakers. Please don't enter that site if you have a weakness for procrastination! Images found at the ever wonderful Miss Moss.

A woman a man walked by

Loving the latest shoot from Always, Sometimes, Anytime inspired by the Alejandro Jodorwsky film Fando y Lis.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Today is the first day of 2011 where the roads are clear enough to ride bicycles. I was so excited this morning I was literally hopping around my tatami room like a crazy person. My poor mamachari has been gathering dust in storage but thankfully this is no longer! 

Before I came to Japan I could barely ride a bike and wibble wobbled all over the show, much to the amusement of pedestrians and motorists. As the months progressed I slowly became better and now I am a bonafide mamachari enthusiast. My fire engine red two wheeled wonder is the apple of my eye.

  Throughout the snowy days there has been the odd madman (and women) who has braved icy snowy streets on their bicycles but generally people look on in horror and wonder. The ice is so slippery it's really not a good idea. Now the snow has all melted, the blossoms are around the corner and the mamacharis are out! Yay!

No layout

Daddy magazine
I love you magazine
Institutional Critique magazine
Fantastic nobodies

A friend put me onto no layout recently. The site is a digital library filled with independent magazines with a focus on art and fashion. You can't download but you are free to view.  With magazines such as Fantastic Man and I love you it's great to trawl though. Amazing content! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Whiskey soaked nights


On March the 21st The Strokes will be releasing their new album Angles, and Radiohead released their new album The King of Limbs yesterday. This is all very exciting as it has been ages since either have released new music. Hip hip hooray!