There seems to be some kind of a package ping pong going on between me and the lovely Kathryn Sakora of Lorna & Jack. Yet again, she has sent me a delightful package! There is something about night lights that gets me every time. This little ceramic bunny night light looks like it was made for me and fits in nicely with all my bits and bobs. Thank you Kathryn! x
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
...The World's Weird & Wonderful Wizard...
My love likes to draw. He is training himself up to become a tattoo artist. He is in France and I am in Australia. In 17 days, he comes to visit! Lucky me and Diesel get our favourite boy in town for three whole months! We can't wait. Visas are a bitch.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
A few inspiring images from three inspiring artist...
C r i s t ó b a l S c h m a l
M a t t e S t e p h e n s
Mr. Owl is Ready for Fall
Lilian Playing with an Abstract Thought
and if you want to buy some of Matte Stephens work in Australia - www.outregallery.com
A n d r e w B a n n e c k e r
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I have some special love for New York City and I thought today I might share it. My friend Hannah is in New York right now which got me thinking about some of the things I miss the most in the state of NY. I was going to do my 5 favourite... but I think it might end up being 10.
This is by far my most favourite thing about New York. Once a year, the community of Long Island's 'Sea Cliff' empty out their trash and treasure on to their lawns and have synchronised garage sales! Sea Cliff is a gorgeous, scenic train ride from NYC. The town itself is one of the most beautiful towns I have visited and to top it off, is where my mama bear was born and spent the first 3 years of her life. On arrival in Sea Cliff we managed to find our way from the train station to the main street, pick up a sale map and spent the whole day on foot wandering the green streets and rummaging through pieces of peoples lives which had been emptied on to their lawns. The town is full of artisans and crafty ladies resulting in the best bric a brac a dollar can buy! The homes of Sea cliff are out of this world and the streets are incredibly beautiful. My day in Sea Cliff was so perfect that I am not sure if I want to return, just so I can keep my memory of Sea Cliff exactly as it is.
Spring is such a special time of year in New York. The city has reached the end of a hard winter, sunny days and warm evenings have arrived. People are happy and the streets are magic. What a perfect time of year for a craft fair! The Brooklyn renegade craft fair is a sweet day of crafty goodness, tidily set up in the McCarren park, right across from yum yum burgers at 5 Leaves. The Renegade Craft fair aint just in Brooklyn either. They spread the love all across North America. Maybe if we make a birthday wish, one day in Melbourne too. Lets keep an eye on their blog in hope of a Fitzroy Renegade Craft Fair.
p.s the best apron in my whole apron collection came from the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair.
My favourite little spot to fill my tummy with cheap and delicious thai. Lovely Day is on Elizabeth St. in Soho, a minute or 2 South or Prince St. It's got a special little vibe and is super yummy. It gets totally packed, so if you can - visit Lovey Day outside of the peak eating hours. They do a yummy little set menu with edamame (not very Thai at all) and your choice of a main and I think a soup too - I can't quite remember. I do remember though that the pad thai is yummy and there is lots of spicy soups and curries to warm you up when its snowing outside. A warm little hide out in winter and a nice breezey tavern in the Summer. After hearing a heartbreaking rumour that Lovely Day burnt down last year, I was relieved to find it still standing - as great as ever on my last visit in February this year. I love you Lovely Day.
I am somewhat of a corn connoisseur. I can confidently say that corn is one of my favourite foods. Popcorn, corn soup, corn bread, polenta, corn on the cob, tinned super sweet corn kernals, creamed corn, corn chips, I love it all. By far the best corn I have ever eaten in my life is the corn on the cob from Cafe Habana - introduced to me by my excellent sister, Aimee. Just a block north of Lovely Day, I am often tempted to try and fit in a corn on the cob after my pad thai. This corn is revolutionary. Don't be mistaken though, there are two Cafe Habanas... on the corner of Prince and Elizabeth there is the restaurant version of Cafe Habana, keep walking north on Elizabeth and you will find next door a mini sized Habana which is Cafe Habana's 'to-go' version. There's a few tables squeezed in and a nice bench outside. For just $2 you can eat the best corn this world has to offer. If you are feeling like you could take on a whole meal then the chicken mole is incredible. They have this amazing imported mango soda too which is like summer in a bottle. This is always the first place I head to on arrival in New York City and the first place I send hungry people. The staff are cute too. As they write on their menu - the Grilled Corn Mexican Style is their specialty. If you eat at Habana, remember.... it's a sin not to order the corn.
The Garage Antique and Collectable Market is as good as Camberwell Markets and something that I found by an accident. On our last day in New York, Charley and I hurried up to the City Quilter to buy a few last minute fabrics. On our way back downtown we stumbled across a bustling giant garage full of jumble and bumble, people and dust. The market was double storey and we had 20 minutes to race though. In 20minutes I spent just $12.20 and had a pocket full of goodies. My favourite purchase at just $8 is this Scrimshaw necklace. At the time of buying it, all I noticed was the tiny ship engraved on one side. As soon as I sat down on the subway, I pulled it out of my pocket to have a closer look and noticed it was two sided with a whale etched on both sides. I had no idea at the time that it was scrimshaw - something I would never buy new, so I consider it a lucky second hand find. It is truly beautiful though and is on a lovely chain.
I'm a little hesitant to put Purl and Purl Patchwork on my list because I noticed on their blog that they have moved. My good friend and crafter, New York local, Annie, introduced me to these gems. Originally a pair of teeny little stores, my favourite thing about the knitting shop and it's sister patchwork shop a few doors down was their tiny size and how much great stuff they managed to squeeze in from floor to ceiling. Judging by the pictures on their blog, the shops have merged into one and aren't jam packed the way they used to be. None the less, I am sure they still have the same stock and classes and crafty smell. They have some beautiful yarns and fabrics and a sweet blog. I still think it would be worth a visit.
Tekserve = dorksville. I love this shop!!! So so geeky. This shop is like the Apple store but BETTER!!! While the Apple store is super duper new and shiney, Tekserve is like a gallery for vintage macs with new mac stuff for sale and geeky computer wizz staff who are there to fix your computer and sell you the right stuff. They offer services at a fraction of the price you would pay at the Apple store. While this shop is probably more of a handy place for people living in NYC, if you're like me and travel with an Apple laptop - this is the place for upgrades, software, gadgets and advice - we have nothing like it in Australia. On entering the store you are greeted by a friendly geek who gives you a ticket depending on what you have come to the store for. I was visiting with my laptop to have some extra ram installed and upgrade the operating system, so I was sent to a waiting area with my little green ticket. The lovely staff are so helpful and it's fun to just visit the store to have a look around at the old computers and fun products they sell. Yep, pretty geeky.
My friend Gemma sent me to Freemans and said to save it for a special night and take Charley there on a date. She described the place as a mens club with delicious food and lots of taxidermy. Right she was. The food was yummy and hearty. The place itself is tucked down the very end of a little laneway. The night I took Charley it was snowing and Freemans' twinkling fairy lights looked welcoming and warm. We had an amazing meal and enjoyed the sparkling water which Freemans add the bubbles to themselves. If you have a mustache, you will fit in well at Freemans, if not - hopefully you like meatly meals... if you're a vegetarian without a mustache... I recommend the macaroni cheese - perfect for a cold night.
While we are on the taxidermy theme, I will add Evolution to my list. As a Wunderkammer fan I was excited to find Evolution. I don't like to buy dead animals, I even have issues buying new leather products and try to restrict my leather purchases to second hand items. So it seems a little odd that a store like Wunderkammer or Evolution would be of such great interest. I guess the creepy curiosity of it all is quite alluring, but besides the real skeletons and stuffed animals, there are some really cool bits a pieces. I found this awesome minature dino-skeleton kit. They had several different kits. The t-rex was my pick. The kit comes in a 'match-book' and the finished skeleton is no bigger than a little ladies big toe.
Oh dear. I am at number ten and there was still a few things I wanted to include. That made it tricky to decide which lovely spot gets number ten. I decided to include a sweet little gallery that Charley and I visited called Hanaou. We had a particularly nice time visiting Hanaou because of its location. The Cabel building at Houston and Broadway is a building which I have found my self visiting several times and although it's not quite as special, it tends to remind me of the Nicholas building. The curiosity of what's cooking in each studio grows as you see signs and scribbles and drawings posted on each closed door you pass. Two lovely girls greeted us at the door of Hanaou and welcomed us into their lovely little arty nest. I found myself attached to a little Apak original that I was sad to leave behind...
Saturday, April 17, 2010
A sleepy day at Camberwell today. I didn't go digging to find all the hidden treasures because me and Dee were feeling too sleepy, but we still managed to blow our budget and come home a happy lady and a happy dog. A pair of wonderful little winter boots, a shanghai panda pencil sharpener ( who unfortunately seems to munch on the pencil rather than sharpen it) and a nice tin which was once 70cents at 'Albury Pharmacy'! $65 for the boots, $2 for the panda and $2 for the tin.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was doing a big clean out of all my stuff last night, getting prepared for a Camberwell Market stall of my own and I found this special little hankie.....
I bought this hankie on my birthday a couple years ago with my good friend Dougie. We caught the Lillydale train to the end of the line and returned with this hand-stitched delight. So, because I found my little hankie once again, I decided on an old song of Dougie's as this weeks song of the week. An old song and an old hankie for old times. Miss you Dougie.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I was happy to find that not even the rain could stop Camberwell Markets today. Little Diesel refuses to leave the house in wet weather, so I went solo and spent the morning rummaging through boxes and racks of soggy clothes. I filled my bag with warm knitted jumpers, cardigans and $2 shirts. I was tempted to buy a dirty pair of shoes that didn't even fit just because they were nice Keeps, but I refrained. I did find a book which I had to bring home though.....
Been wondering how to make a spring-operated toy machine gun that shoots wooden bullets? Well you can with this book, but only if you're a boy. Besides the machine gun though, there are some great diagrams and things I actually would like to learn. Like how to bind a book or build a bird house or a pencil sharpener! I think the boy who once owned this wasn't really into building stuff, it looks like he spent more time pressing flowers between the pages.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I love to see this kind of thing.... but I'm not sure that all the graffiti artists who feature in 'Muto' would feel the same way. Yikes, a little bit cringe worthy.. but other wise very very cool.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
The Ask Alice Website design is complete and the geeky building bit is taking place this very minute. Any day now the website will be ready. Because I am impatient and can't wait a few days, here is a little sneaky peek at how its going to look...
Me and Diesel had a lucky day at Camberwell Markets today. Diesel found himself a beautiful girlfriend who looked just like him but surly weighed at least doublet. She licked him all over his face and now he is fast asleep on the floor recovering from his big morning. I was lucky with 2 incredible finds.....
I've been looking to start a collection of these children's night lights for a few years now but I am super picky with them. I don't like the clown, the train or the Humphrey Bear ones which seem to be the most common. This one is a really nice one to start the collection. It's a nice size, it works (apparently) - just need to find it a new bulb. It even has a pretty little power plug. The lady didn't come down on the price all that much, but Diesel smiled at her and we got $2 knocked off the $10 price tag. As long as it works, I will be happy with the $8 purchase.
This find is up there with my guillotine and my panda radio. This is a petite 1950s Japanese xylophone. I seem to have a weak spot for xylophones. I have been on the look out for a nice one to mount at the front door of my new home as my door bell. I haven't found my new home yet but this little guy would be perfect as long as my entrance is covered. I gave it a test-play at the markets and it didn't sound like it worked all that well. After a little wiggling and jiggling at home I straightened up the old string under the plates and it sounds beautiful! What a lucky find indeed.