Thursday, May 27, 2010


Last night I went to the opening of DisBand. LeeLoo, the curators of Disband, say the exhibition was inspired by the 40th anniversary since the break-up of The Beatles, the theme of the exhibition was the end of relationships, be they romantic or otherwise.

Albeit pouring with rain and a trek out to amBUSH Gallery in Green Square - I was so happy to have made the effort. On arrival, I felt like I'd walked into a different world. From the warehouse/gallery space of high ceilings to the white walls and the wrought iron heaters that glowed orange, I was welcomed into a little space of intimacy where nostalgia ruled and broken hearts were left un-mended.

There were also instillations of well-worn lounge room furniture. The detail was key, right down to the little notepad beside the phone that read 'Tell your girlfriend NOT to call here anymore.'

I got quite caught up in the works that held innate sadness coupled with contemporary beauty. Even though it probably wouldn't have been aesthetically pleasing (due to sizes of works etc) I was sort of wishing that the works would have been grouped according to artist, the story-teller in me wanting to read the narratives that the pieces were trying to show me.

Still, that is a small grapple for what was an extremely stunning exhibition. Overall DisBand had a lovely vibe, great wine, a cute bar tender and extremely stunning pieces of art. I think my favourite was an illo of a girl sitting cross legged with arrows through her back; haunting and a bit dark but enchanting all at once.

I highly recommend you take the journey and discover DisBand.

artfully yours,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mamma love mambo

That's the song that was going round in my head when I attempted my first hula hoop class on the weekend. I'll be honest ... I wasn't great. And what's worse is that I had an image in my head of me just nailing this odd sport down to a tee and Bunny Hoopla asking me to join her and the hoopettes on tour.

Sadly this was not the case. The gorgeous teacher was giving me encouraging nods while I swung my hips for dear life.

'Almost there, I can see you've nearly got it!'

I felt like the unco kid, the one they put in the back row at dance recitals.
I did take pride in the fact that there was someone worse than me there though. This one girl was sincerely terrible and I got stuck behind her. I don't know how but she managed it, but she was actually catapulting the hoop from her waist. I copped a hoop to the face more than once on Saturday.

I don't know if I'll go back...think I need to invest in my own hoop and practice in my backyard so I don't get stuck in the back row again.

love loopy,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wash out!

As you may have gathered ... the markets were a wash out on the weekend! Never fear, I'll be back on the band wagon (weather permitting) next weekend. And will have a review for Kirribilli sometime next month, as it really is the best.

I did however attend the zine fair and got some really cute ones! I think I definitely need to make more zines. I just love them. It was just a little bit packed though, so much so, I couldn't get my camera out of my bag to take any piccys.

I must admit, it did kill me to watch the hipsters traipse about the mca. Why is there so many of them these days? It kills me that what I've been wearing, and things I've been into for many years is suddenly the norm. And yet, I feel like the nanna. How does that work?

love a slightly un=hip hipster,

I'm sorry Mr Pyke

Today, I was that person. That person whom people tut and roll their eyes at. And I'm sorry! I've never been that person before, and I never want to be them again.

I went to listen to Josh Pyke in conversation with Bernard Zuel for The Sydney Writer's festival. Mid-way through the conversation, this dull music seems to be playing. It's not too loud, but it's loud enough to notice. I feel like I'm going mad, thinking it must be Bernard's recording device, maybe he actually pressed play - how embarrassing. How embarrassing indeed! My heart sank as the thought 'is that MY ipod?!' crossed my mind. Jesus, it is. I scrambled to open my bag, and as I did, Patrick Wolf wailed out. I knew Patrick Wolf was a little narcissistic and egotistical, but this was just ridiculous - did he really have to be heard above Josh Pyke speaking about 'Lighthouse'? Shame. My face flushed ten shades of red as I finally clicked off the song. Oh dear. I didn't hear anything for the next few minutes, I was too focussed on not moving a muscle to draw anymore attention to myself. Oh I'm cringing now just thinking about it.

Despite my massive faux pas, I did enjoy the talk. Mr Pyke had some interesting things to say on songwriting but I don't know if I agreed with everything he had to say. I liked Bernard Zuel's take on lyrics being the words you wish you could have said in person. Josh really pushed the 'write what you know' line which is a line I came across during uni days. A lot of me really agrees but there's a part of me that doesn't think this should be gospel for writers. I don't think you necessarily have to have experienced something to write about it well. Before I fell in love, I used to write about love in a completely different way, and now that I've experienced it, I can't get that innocence I used to write with back into my words. This is just a very small example, I know but nonetheless, I don't know if I agree when Josh Pyke said there's a dishonesty to writing about something you don't know. But then I guess he's the successful musician and I'm the girl going to her day job tomorrow morning.

He's incredibly aussie and so laid back. It seems like such a juxtaposition that the poignant, romantic and unique lyrics come from his mouth. He's a grammar nazi and really wants a rapper to remake 'Middle of the hill' - in his dream world, his mc name is double j to the p. Overall, he's pretty dreamy in a casual kind of way, not wanting to break down the magic that happens between him and his guitar.

He also had this moment of explaining how meaning to 'Middle of the Hill' changed when he played it live to a sold out show at the Metro. He was singing that last line: 'I don't pay enough attention to the good things when I got em'. He looked out at the crowd and thought 'this is what I am talking about'. I love that idea - that he wrote lyrics and didn't realise the meaning until years later when that moment hit him.

Once again, I'm sorry Mr Pyke, I wanted to come say hi afterwards, but was too shamed to do so. Guess I'll just keep admiring from afar. Next time I'll sit up the back and in the mean time, I'm deleting Patrick Wolf from my ipod.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Paddo and the Fringe

Evening all!
I know, I know. I'm ever so late with my latest market review but better late than never right?

My weekend was full of music and markets. Just the way I like it. I trekked east and hit up the Fringe bar markets as well as Paddington markets. And what a lovely day I had indeed.

I started the day with meeting a girlfriend for an indulgent breaky of french toast with bacon and maple syrup on oxford street. This proved to be the best sustenance for our market expedition.

A tip for the Fringe bar - get there early or don't even bother. It was about midday when we arrived, and while this isn't particularly late, it was late enough for Fringe bar.

The bar gets packed, and people are pretty much there to be seen as opposed being there to see things. It's pokey, and loud and a little overpriced for the sort of stuff people are sporting. And for the markets being in a bar, which should be a feature, the bar's pretty closed off and you certainly couldn't have a drink as you thought over an impulse purchase (ah-huh, maybe that's the point).

I did see these stunning purseys though. Will definitely need to save my pennies if I wish to purchase some of this soft emu leather. I'm more than likely just attracted to all of those colours and wouldn't love it as much once I got the purse away from all of its cousins.

After a quick perusal we headed off to Paddington. I think one of the keys for a good day at Paddington markets is good weather. It was a stunner of a day and that crisp breeze mixed with sunshine made me feel good before I'd even entered the markets. This is what I call a looksies market. And I was pretty happy just looking, honest! There's lots of space to cover, a little food area with hillbillies singing away and lots of gorgeous things to soak up. It's the kind of market I'd take birthday money to and walk away with one thing. Which is fine for a change. I actually have to say it was quite pleasant not having to scrounge around for a change and just see all the lovely things displayed beautifully on wooden coat-hangers and one-off pieces pinned to black velvet benches.

I was totally reserved and didn't purchase any vintage bags or shoes.

Or any sweet glassware.

I was completely fascinated, but slightly horrified by the butterflies and spiders under glass. Memories hit me of an odd butterfly collection my father owned. It was full of orange and brown butterflies. I never thought it was beautiful but I always wanted to look at it and try to understand why dad had butterflies framed behind glass. I still don't really get it.

Mainly I just took in the scenery, the people and ate samples of chocolates and drank juice.

I was also pretty chuffed when I saw my name in glass lettering. I think this would be really sweet on the front of my door. If I was five. Or if I didn't share a room with my boyfriend. And our doors weren't made of glass that don't really shut properly...oh. Still, cute nonetheless right?

Now, just because I didn't get a bargain, doesn't mean I don't have something to show. My friend got this gorgeous leather wallet for $30 down from $125. Well done Peg! That's my kind of shopping.

I must tell you though, our exit out of Paddington wasn't really, well, Paddington. After being strongly advised by a friend's mother to search Paddington Vinnies, I dragged my friend on yet another mission. I found a gorgeous green velvet jacket and was modeling it in the mirror when I asked what Peg thought: 'cute!' she said.

Enter extremely tall, scary man with Frankenstein scar on his forehead: 'What, you think I'm cute?'
Me: 'Sorry, she was talking about the jacket.'
Frankenstein: 'So you don't think I'm cute?'
Peg: awkward laughter
Me: (thinking) not so much cute as creepy!
Frankenstein: 'You should have seen me back in the day, you would've thought I was the cutest. You wouldn't have been to keep your hands off me.'
Frankenstein proceeds to stumble along the racks while we laugh awkwardly a little more and make a dash for the back of the store.
Whilst in hiding Peg kept calling out 'cute cute' to anything she touched, while I tried to shoosh her as this word seemed to be a trigger for Frankenstein to find us and tell us how he thought we were quite cute but probably too young for him and more about not being able to keep our hands off him etc.
I ended up dumping the jacket and running with Peg until we hit the non-Paddo end of Oxford street. Not very Paddington at all.

I haven't had one of those encounters for a while. I think the daylight threw me. You expect those kind of conversations at wee hours of the morning when you're traipsing the cross, but early afternoon in Paddington on a Saturday? I just wasn't prepared. I think the sad thing was that he probably was quite cute, once upon a time. But somewhere along the line something's happened or snapped and now he goes around approaching girls half his size. I would have loved to have a good scrounge in Vinnies too, but now I'll always remember that day and be wary.
It would have been sad if he wasn't so creepy.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Milk Fever

This is one of the reasons why I will miss my job: beautiful authors. I arrived at work this morning with wet feet and cold coffee. But I was soon warmed up by the little package that was on my desk from the gorgeous Lisa Reece-Lane, thanking me for the work I've done on her book. So sweet and so special.

Lisa's book comes out 1 June. It's a stunning debut from an incredibly talented author. 'Milk Fever is an uncommon romance. It is a novel of love, yearning, the fragility of modern family and forgiveness. And of how, despite our desire to remain separate, we are all incredibly precious, connected and, ultimately, necessary to each other.'

I came across Lisa's manuscript in the dreaded slush pile. Getting through the slush pile is not the most pleasant of jobs. So I was so pleasantly surprised when Lisa's email came through. A simple, understated request to submit her novel to Murdoch Books. I straightened up. Milk Fever. What a great title. I read the opening line and I knew it was going to be good. I finished the first chapter and walked over to my boss, in a daze: 'I just started reading something in the unsolicited pile. And it's good.' I took the manuscript home and could not put it down. I took it to the hairdresser, I took it to the cafe, and read it on every mode of public transport I took that weekend.

I was hooked, totally in love and utterly mad with Milk Fever. We had to publish it. We would have been crazy not to. Thankfully my boss and the publishing team agreed. And now here we are, almost exactly one year from submission and we're eagerly awaiting the release of this poignant and beautifully written book.

If I were you I'd be watching those shelves and snapping up a copy. In the meantime you can get a fix here and read a sample chapter here.
It's okay, you can thank me later.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh! Heck!

Oh Lisa. Why? I really love you. And yet, last night you looked like you wanted to be anywhere else but on stage.

Don't get me wrong, I think Lisa Mitchell is an amazingly talented artist, but last night she was definitely upstaged by her support band Boy and Bear: a tight, quietly confident group of boys with divine harmonies and a pin-droppingly silent performance. I first heard of Boy and Bear when I saw Laura Marling at the Speigal Tent for Sydney Festival - she was singing their praises as the bass player from the band was filling in for her regular bass player. Ever since then my ears prick up a little whenever I hear this name. I'm so glad that I got to the Enmore a little early to get myself a spot for Lisa Mitchell (a task within itself - note to self: never attend and all ages gig again, I felt like shouting at them 'respect your elders!') becasue I must admit, I don't always give the support band the time of day they usually deserve. The Boy and Bear boys were dreamy and polished and quite simply just stunning to watch.

I'm sad to say I can't say the same for Miss Mitchell. While her awkwardness is sweet and endearing, I feel like it has a use-by date. I mean, she's a little older now, has toured furiously over the last twelve months and won many awards so really, her confidence and stage presence should be of a higher quality than what it is. Her opening line to her adoring fans was: 'Wow, you guys scream really loudly. I mean you don't have to scream.' The girl was shosshing her own fans! Was she for real? Many an awkward moments followed with her excusing her rudeness as nerves. Honey, if you're gonna be rude, at least own it.

She finally seemed to relax towards the end of the set when she pulled out 'Heroine' statically dancing about the stage, getting into the break down section, but this was only short lived unfortunately.

I'm sounding a little harsh I know, but I just wasn't really blown away. At all. And that makes me sad. I'd been looking forward to this concert for a fair few months now (I was even the purchaser of tickets number 1 & 2 - super keen) and I just feel like she didn't deliver that 'wow' factor that performers are meant to. I wasn't even swept up in her modesty, I was more along the train of thought: 'let's wrap this up sweety, the tweens behind me are about to go postal if they have one more red bull.'

I still love you Lisa. I guess for a few moments there, I really just wasn't in awe of you. I think all lead singers should be a little egotistical, love the limelight and the thousands of eyes that are upon them, because, clearly the former just doesn't work.

Saucer of milk, table one?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A change is in the air ...

And it all started with a haircut. I was sitting on the bus this morning when I had an epiphany. I've had three major changes in my life recently and it all started when I decided to take the plunge and do the chop.

I cut half my hair off after growing it for about two years. I don't know why. It was just time.
The day I cut my hair I auditioned for a London DJ. And he loved my ideas. So far I've done two tracks for him and am hoping it won't end there.

And finally, a couple of weeks later, I got a new job. A great one. Even though I'm hella sad to be leaving my cosy corner on the Pier, I know that it's time. Just like it was time to get an asymmetrical cut.

Change frightens me, I'm a play-it-safe kinda girl through and through so while all of this sounds exciting, I'm biting my nails to bits even though I think I'm doing the right thing. Isn't it funny how one morning you're ordering your skinny cap, loving the fact that you're coffee guy starts prepping your order when he sees you walking down the hill, then all of a sudden you don't know who's going to be making your morning coffee and if they'll ever get it just the way you like it.

What's changed for you in the last month?


(image from here)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

North Sydney Markets

Welcome to the sequel to Market Month May! On the weekend I went to North Sydney markets and had a most delightful morning.
North Sydney markets are located on Miller street at North Sydney Park, just a ten minute walk from the station. I must admit, this is one of my favourite markets. They're a perfect way to spend a sunny autumn morning. They're big enough to wander through for an hour or so, but not too big to feel overwhelmed and give up hunting half-way through.

I love the mix of old and new here, and the old stuff is always in such good nick due to the stall holders being mainly old, wealthy ladies who have looked after their possessions with much love, as per these sweet trinkets below.

I do have a confession to make though: I went over my $20 budget. I'm sorry, it's shameful I know. I was doing well - I got a hot gold and black ruffled bolero for $10, plus a vintage pink and grey Oroton scarf for $15 so wasn't doing too badly until I saw these ...

Who isn't partial to a little Mexican silver? And at only $20, I figured I could double my budget ... just this once. I took a girlfriend with me who is always baffled by my $5 dresses and $10 coats to see how easy it is find treasure for cheap cheap and she did so well - look at all those finds!

BUT she broke one of my No.1 rules when market shopping - Try it on. Always. No matter how hot it is, no matter how lazy you're feeling. If it doesn't fit - it ain't a bargain. And a $5 dress turned into a $25 dress due to the fact that none of her other purchases ended up fitting! I think she's learnt her lesson though.

What I love mist about North Sydney Markets is the openness and community feel. It's never hectic and always filled with just the right number of marketers. There's loads of grass to to hang out on and grab a feed and I think the cutest thing about Saturday was the all girl teen band that played. They weren't any older than fourteen and played slow sweet versions of punk songs - they're biggest fan was one of the dad's: an old rocker sporting a leather cap and standing up the front thrashing his head away to their covers. It was just too cute.

It's funny how parents are stuck in their coolest era and dress the way they did when they were at their peak. I hope to god that I move with the times and am not wearing tights and lace when I hit mumsville. But I do hope I'm up the front, tapping away, with my kid showing me up in terms of 'cool'.

But back to the markets - definitely seven cactus's out of ten: huge dollars not needed to have a lovely day in the park.

Happy hunting!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's Sunday night...

You said it graffitied park bench. Yuk. Sunday night blues are about to kick in.

On the upside I did find some special treasure at North Sydney markets on Saturday. Will post a review and some piccys soon!

much love,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Surry Hills Markets

For my first weekend of 'Market Month May' I hit up Surry Hills. I must say this isn't a market I frequent often, and when I got there I remembered why.

Now, I love a good rummage just as much as the next girl, but, the stalls at Surry Hills seem to swing between junk and over-priced 'vintage'.
I don't know about you, but I'm not will to part with $300 for a pair of sunnies unless they come with a receipt, a warrenty and the store owner is wearing a suit as opposed to ripped tights. Nor am I going to pay $40 for a pair of secondhand peter alexandria pajamas (gross). There were some nice things around but money was required.

This is not to say that the Surry Hills market doesn't have an appeal. The location is key, with all neighbouring homes making sure they have garage sales happening, there's cafes galore and pubs right next door which is handy after a long morning of digging for treasure. Plus, Surry Hills is the suburb of beautiful hipsters so people watching is always pleasurable.

I'm glad to say that I stuck to my $20 challenge! (well, within the markets anyway) and I scored a hella cute black and white dress with horse shoes and horse heads on it and a caramel leather bag, both for only ten bucks each! How well did I do?

I spent the day with a girlfriend and had a fabulous day, but the market itself was definitely not the highlight.
Basically, if you're gonna head to Surry Hills markets, I would be more inclined to make it a Surry Hills day and do all the cute boutiques on Crown street, have a feed at The Clock hotel, and then browse through the markets.

Overall, I'm gonna be harsh and give Surry Hills markets only 5 of out 10 cactus's, it's prickly out there.

Save your pennies,

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brown paper packages tied up with string ...

filled with a few of my new favourite things!

I recently received a gorgeous package from fellow blogger Sara who hails from In the Light of the Sun, which if you haven't you should go check out immediately, if not sooner.

I entered a little blog-comp she had going and won a stunning framed print of sweet cherry blossom-esque flowers. I was excited when a brown jiffy bag was at my doorstep but I was not prepared for the amount of sweetness inside!

I gently pulled my min handmade bunting away to reveal the lovely print, plus a little letter in a photographic envelope and ...

organic fairtrade tea bags with paper cranes instead of labels from clipper teas!

Oh I feel so special. Thank you Sara, you've made my day! Now if only I could decide on where to hang my print. And if I actually want to use these tea bags or just look at them. The big questions, coming to you live from Sunday morning.

Lovely to meet you via blogsphere too Sara, here's to blogship!

love and more,