Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas...

Strange to be somewhere so warm for Christmas this year, and so far away from home and family. Tim Minchin's 'White Wine in the Sun' is lyrically and melodically lovely...and about just this kind of Christmas...

(via Yogi)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Songs for December...

Songs for November got missed and December is flying by at a startling rate so I thought I should post some music before it's the new year. I've been making a non-Christmasy Christmas mix for my brother and sister this week - it's dug up some excellent material for this post!

Das Pop - Never Get Enough (buy it)
'Butterfly belly aches, keep me up night and day. You radiate sunshine and make it reverberate' It's such a very happy little ditty that it had to go on.

Speech Debelle - Spinnin' (buy it)
Just about hip-hop, this combines tonnes of optimism and hope with the odd self deprecating lyric to keep it grounded, and fun little drum bits with cute piano loops. Tres bien.

Owl City - Fireflies
I've been pining for a new Postal Service album for far too long and this starts to fill the hole. It's almost too cheesy but it will have to do for now...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Doodle Bug...

The always intriguing Doodlers Anonymous have brought out a kick ass new colouring-in book filled with great illustrations. I would dearly love to do as they say and 'get your hands on it and fill it in with every ounce of ink you have lying around.' Unfortunately I have recently run into a rather terminal visa related issue with New Zealand Immigration and money is now more precious than ever. (Lame). It's officially on my to buy list though...and it's only 12 bucks. Hmmm...

Here are two of my favourite pages...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chiharu Shiota sculpture...

I'm not really sure what to make of the installations by Chiharu Shiota but there is definitely something about them that gets under my skin. Maybe its the scale or the level of intricacy, or both, or maybe something else entirely that I can't put my finger on. Whatever it is though, it makes me tilt my head, raise my eyebrows and go ooooh.

Oedipus Rex...stage design, Dresden, Germany

Flowing Water...at Nizayama Forest Art Museum, Toyama, Japan

(through of paper and things)

Paper cut outs; no seriously...

So, there's this guy called Pablo Lehmann, and for the last few years he has been making just unbelievably detailed paper cut outs. I'm pretty sure he has missed his calling as a surgeon but instead of operating on humans he could operate on tiny, tiny animals with miniature organs...which is effectively a vet. That sounded more glamorous and complimentary in my head.

All in all pretty mind blowing stuff; well worth having a look around his website. I wish I had the patience for work like this...and also skill.

(through moon river)

It's been a while...

OK so the last post was October 20th...2 months without an update. Granted for 5 weeks of that I was away on a journey but for the rest of the time I have no excuse other than laziness. It's a good thing no one reads this or some one might feel like they have missed out.

On a side note, I can't say the word 'while' now without thinking about 'cool whip'

This is not the clip I wanted to be honest. I wanted the bit where Meg kidnaps Brian...and they're going to be there for a while, and Brian is acting all wheird. Either way, you get the idea...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cardboard cutouts...

Little cardboard monsters turned into a stop motion animation by Sjors Vervoort; a perfectly executed simple idea. Made with only 800 cutouts it's not hugely complex or overworked but it flows nicely even without any real followable plot or story. He also has some rad tshirts for sale over at MySoti.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Songs for October...

SUMMER! YEAH! That is all.

Yo La Tengo - Mr Tough
Delightfully happy in true Yo La Tengo style. Sitting outside late into the evening + this song = win.

Chromeo - Night by Night
The same Chromeo formula but it doesn't fail to win me over. Disco heavy throwback tune full of juicy synth and bassy...well, bass. Hells yes.

Air - Sing Sang Sung
Romantic, melty and distinctly Air. If you have anything to do this afternoon it is not a wise move to listen to this single but if your to-do-list is empty then soak up the mellow goodness.

Karen O and the Kids - All Is Love
Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has made an entire soundtrack for what must be the most anticipated movies of the year. This is one of two taster tracks that have appeared; needless to say it doesn't dissapoint.

We Shot The Moon - The Bright Side
I am going to see the freaking Ataris on Saturday night! This has awoken pop punk genes in me that I have neglected of late. We Shot The Moon; welcome to my upbringing.

Admittedly this is more songs than I intended but I loved harping back to pop punk sentiments and to ignore a nibble from the Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack would be a travesty.

Flippin' paper marvel...

Apart from the (very clever) pun in this posts title, I am not sure what else to add to this video as to be honest I am not exactly sure what it is I am watching. Whatever it is though, it is undoubtedly awesome. As far as I can tell it's a flip book animation but rather than the traditional, static, page by page flip books we are used to, it spreads elaborately in all directions on a giant flip book canvas...or something. Combining flip books with stop motion it really works very well indeed.

VIDEOGIOCO by Donato Sansone

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lilliputian tenements...

Street side power boxes, wiring junctions, concrete blocks and ruined building foundations are painstakingly stencilled by the Berlin artist(s) EVOLS to look like miniature tower blocks circa 1960. The effect is truly awesome if not necessarily ground braking.

More of the Flickr photo stream here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where is all this advice coming from...

A couple of weeks ago I ordered the second in the series of 'Advice to Sink in Slowly' postcard books. Full of lovely little mixes of text and illustration which, in accordance with the site moto 'pass on personal advice in a creative way'. The first edition was fantastic but I foolishly gave it away as a present - reckless gift giving as it is now perpetually sold out. Anyhow, the second edition is just as good and I am waiting for the right time to send one on its way.

Buy it here

Coincidentally(?), on the same day it arrived I saw the photos from the 'Advice Portaits' exhibition by Maria Forde. A collection of portraits of her friends and the advice they have to offer their fellow humans. The display is just as, if not more so, simply heartfelt as the postcard book but unfortunately not purchasable in such a format. I am not sure why the interweb is sending so much out of context advice my way at the moment...strange but enjoyable.

Wiley - "Please Recycle" by Maria Forde

Advice Portraits exhibition found through the always excellent Needles & Pens...online shop, gallery and local artist supporter. Check them out.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not quite Dick Van Dyke...

One of my favourite movies when I was growing up was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...apart from the Child Catcher; damn that guy is scary. There are some super awesome scenes but the best parts are Caractacus Potts' inventions so when I saw 'The Breakfast Machine' I practically squealed with delight...imagine squealing but something more manly and far less shameful.

'The Breakfast Machine' was built last weekend by platform21, an Amsterdam based studio under the direction of designer Yuri Suzuki and artist Masa Kimura. Once finished it served all-day breakfasts of omelet, coffee and toast with jam. One day, when I have way more space and way more tools I will have one of these and I'll dress up just like Dick Van Dyke when I use it.

Wafer keyboard for...juice?

This video is undoubtedly awesome but I'm not exactly sure what it's for. I'm going to guess juice as it ends with strawberries and some round things in a bowl that look a little like grapes. Oh and the description has these words in it 'Açaí Juice 100% fruit'...man I wish I could speak Spanish. Anyway, there's some sweet stop motion nuggets and bright colours. Love it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

High Five Yogi

My good friend and excellent all round human Yogi sent me this you tube link for a guy who cycles round New York high-fiving people. He sent me said link with an accompanying request; to put it on this blog. However, if I am being terribly honest, I did not like the video that much...I almost did, but not quite (sorry Yogi). However, since I'd cleverly and hilariously replied to his 'you should put this on your blog' comment with the genius retort 'I'll put YOU on my blog' - I will.

Also, Yogi is coming out to stay in New Zealand with me in 2 weeks time! I am proper excited.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alyssa Monks

OK, hang on...so, first of all look at these images from Alyssa Monks 2009 portfolio.




Done it? OK now you're ready I can tell you that these are in fact paintings not photos. Jaw sufficiently dropped? Pretty ridiculous really. Seeing her paintings kind of makes me want to paint immediately and kind of makes me want to never paint again. Either way I still can't get my head around the beautiful details. Check out the rest of her portfolio here. Found through the always great Please Sir.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nixon are awesome...

Nixon have released a whole load of new watches recently. This Newton Digital is my favourite though...I really, really want it...maybe next pay day. The blue one is particularly rad but if I'm feeling grown up I'll get the black one instead

White Box

There are many things to love about this video by Makoto Yabuki. The soundtrack works perfectly, the animation is quaint and cute without being too much and the camera work is soft and lovely. However, after four minutes and eight seconds of feeling quite warm and fuzzy inside, my favourite, favourite thing about this video is the way those coloured pencils are so well lined up. They are just so lined up. Fantastic.

Through Reuben Miller, originally posted on Share Some Candy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I've always enjoyed things that are out of scale. Like when mugs or glasses are huge and it makes me feel like a borrower...you know like Ian Holm in that TV series I used to watch. But there are not normally many opportunities to enjoy the reverse of this...until now.



is a series of photographs by Cynthia Greig from Detroit. The images are of her friends and family holding and struggling to utilise everyday objects in miniature. She says that as "smaller scale surrogates of the original, the miniature seems to imply the existence of some kind of alternative universe where we are like gods, omnipotent and in control." Interesting concept and the photos...well, they are gorgeous.

Magnifying Glass

By the way, I found Cynthia's work through a new favourite blog Please Sir. You should go there next.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Watch Listen Tell

To record a band live and outdoors with a stills camera in video mode and make it look as beautiful as this is quite a feet I think. The way it's shot is so soft, and the occasional well timed focus pull keeps the whole thing intimate and honest.

Watch Listen Tell comes from director Dave Tree and is by no means new to internet world. It is the first time I have seen the videos though, and seeing as no one will read this anyway it doesn't matter if it's not breaking news. The you tube channel is well worth exploring with some excellent bands including the new Mercury Prize winners, Speech Debelle. My favourite though is the Florence and the Machine track My Boy Builds Coffins

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Plethora of Plurals

Short post today as I am 100% going to spend the morning in the glorious sunshine...

'All Sorts' is, as it explains, a linguistic experiment into the art of collecting collective nouns. Some of these are deemed to be dictionary worthy and some others should be but are not. Through the frankly quite frighteningly expansive power of twitter it searches for suggestions globally and now there are hundreds. My personal favourites so far are...

A seemingly empty room of ninjas
A knot of string theorists
A madeus of Mozarts

Worth a wee internet nibble anyhow...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nanny Here

It's my Nan's funeral today; my Dad's mum. I can't go of course as she lived in England and I live in New Zealand but I wanted to do something to mark it anyway. I'm not sure why really, just so that I am thinking of her whilst everyone else that loved her is too. Her name was Eileen but my brother and sister and I used to call her 'Nanny Here' as she lived round the corner from us. My Mum's mum lives in Kent and she is 'Nanny Far-away.'

Website of the Week

OK, granted I have only just run into 'Book By Its Cover' so to give it the prestigious status of 'Website of the Week' already...on a Monday...is probably a little presumptuous. On the other side of the coin, it is awesome and seeing as I have never done a 'Website of the Week' feature before it doesn't matter all that much does it.

Anyway...'Book By Its Cover' is the brainchild of illustrator and pattern designer Julia Rothman. It brings together beautiful, independent publications including zines, sketchbooks, designs and comics that she has either found recently or collected over the years. Some are available to buy and some unfortunately are not. Well worth investing 20 minutes of internet nibbling time...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Songs for September

Spring is well and truly in the air and accordingly my heart is constantly on the hunt for songs to listen to whilst sitting in the sunshine with my eyes closed or to accompany a beer and bbq. However, although I have been listening to some songs along the aforementioned vein, most of the ones sure to be on repeat over September and making it onto this post are more melancholy than I intended including these musical nuggets...

Julian Plenti - Only If You Run (buy it)
It took me until midway through the first chorus to realise that Julian Plenti was in fact the Interpol frontman (Google tells me his name is Paul Banks.) Anyway, this is delightful folk-rock upbeatness only deviating slightly from the oh so successful Interpol formula.

Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer (buy it)
Border line country but certainly my favourite serial killer themed song since Sufjan Stevens' John Wayne Gacy Jr. One of those songs that you don't realise how much you like it until it's crept into your head and is too late to remove it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

T-shirt T-ime

I have been pointed towards quite a few ace new t-shirt websites/designers/printers of late, the top two of which are probably 'We Make T-Shirts' and 'Graniph'. We Make T-Shirts are a collaborating group of designers from Nottingham, UK and Graniph seem to be a massive enterprise from somewhere...possibly Japan as all their prices seem to be in JPY. Anway, here are two really rad ones.

We Make T-Shirts - Paper Planes

Graniph - Control Bear

Now if only I could make my stupid NZ visa card work online I could spend all kinds of monies! (that I don't have).


I have been meaning to post these next lovely little nuggets all morning but keep getting distracted by refilling the garden pond, breakfast and THPS3. Anyway, originally hailing from Italy but now living in Germany, Ninon makes 'Softies' - which seems to be what I am supposed to call cuddly toys these days. Regardless of terminology her 'Les Monstris' series are rad and I don't feel at all demasculinated by liking them...at all...not one bit...

Ira Knobbolstein

August Leafballs

Ninon has a blog you can follow with updates on her exhibitions and gallery showings if you are very fortunate and in the area. If not, or as well as this even, you can buy from her etsy shop where she has 17 for sale at the moment as well as other occasional bits 'n' bobs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've never been able to do clocks with hands, the whole thing confuses me. If I I get asked the time and have to use a clock like that it takes me ages to work it out, counting the minutes past or to the hour. If the big hand points to 8 it's 40 minutes to...or something...blah blah blah.

Anyway, the lovely people at the Biegert & Funk Project have created Clock Two (for me). It's beautiful in its own right, hand made in Germany and must be the simplest time-telling device ever. At almost $1600 it's a bargain...and by bargain I mean way too expensive. One day...hmm...

It's also available as an iPhone app for a much more pocket friendly $0.99.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pie Paper

A couple of days ago I filled out a 'how are we doing' questionnaire on the always exellent 'It's Nice That' in which I commented that it would be great to have more global posts especially from New Zealand. Low and behold, today I found (through 'It's Nice That') a New Zealand design quaterly called the Pie Paper! Were they forced into action due to my incredible design world influence? Probably not. Was it nevertheless a delightful coincedence? Yes!

Promising 72 pages filled with secret wonders, I will certainly be purchasing it. I've been looking for some interesting companies closer to home for ages now. Also the kiwiana influenced title - love. Plus they have a page of Nudibranch illustrations! Double win.

Buy it here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Songs of the week

Taking a hint from the suggestive (although until now, inaccurate) name of this blog, I think it's time to post some of the music I've been enjoying this week. Two tracks should do for now. Both somehow feel like Spring but in very different ways. On a side note, it's still very weird to be going into spring at the end of August...

Free Energy - Free Energy (buy it)
Radio ready 70's power pop/air guitar fun produced by LCD's James Murphy. Cheap and easy but delicious nonetheless.

Eyedea & Abilities - This Story (buy it)
About as hip-hop as I get and catchy as hell. Love it.

Also I was clearing out my 'Misc' bookmarks folder today; it was brimming with links to overlooked pages. This is normally a thankless task but the art of Reed Danziger is my forgotten favourite of the week. I love the effect of the coloured, geometric shapes and the mix media. The piece below uses watercolor, gouache, graphite and silkscreen...all things I would very much like to be better at.

'an intermediate order, an equation of motion'

Monday, August 17, 2009

A few weeks ago I bought a new toy for my camera

My camera and I have been drawling over macro lenses since forever but as they cost (roughly) the same as a well situated newly refurbished house I settled for these metal extension tube things that go between the lens and camera body.

A flurry of uninformed photos later and I'm pretty pleased with the results considering my meagre £6 investment!

(see the rest of the Flickr stream here)

OK, first post

Hot ribena in hand I will start as I mean to go on - with some thing I would buy if I had more money (in this case only a little more)...

Palmer Cash have this awesome 'Stoked About Science' t-shirt ...maybe next pay check

(buy it here)