Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Charitable Notion

    I have begun work on another cat doll. If all goes well [ie I have no trouble pulling her bloody arms and legs through the narrow head] then this lil' wonder will be making it's way to a kinder charity evening.

Doll by Melissa Gaggiano.

Friday, 26 April 2013

She Skates

    Happy Friday everyone! Now go do something fun. Like maybe, you could cook a homemade pizza on the BBQ, or perhaps join a local roller disco.
    What will you do?
Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

An evening with Megan Hess

Copyright Megan Hess

    This blogger is quite excited as next week she will be spending An evening with Megan HessMegan is a wonderful fashion and lifestyle illustrator. And there are so many questions I shall want to ask her, I hardly know where to begin. If Megan Hess were a sorcerer, I'd so want to be her apprentice. 
    I loved her work even before I knew her name. For those not quite in the know Megan is the artist behind many of Candace Bushnell's book covers. Additionally her client list does include Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Vanity Fair, Italian Vogue, Christian Dior, just to name a few.
    To find out more about Megan, you can check out her website:

Just Some Wednesday Moments

    I thought it was Thursday. So I had rolled out my garbage bins a little too preemptively. As soon as I made it to the nature strip I looked around, realised my error and dragged my bins back up the driveway. That being my embarrassment for the day.
    Well, anyway... following are some of my artistic captures for the day.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.

Pen and Red Nail Polish

    I did some late night doodling. I pulled out a fashion mag and chose a couple of photos to draw from. I didn't worry about perfection or getting the proportions just right [that would have meant starting with a pencil and eraser]. I just went straight in with a black pen. And on the girl in the middle I added some colour using nail polish [I was too tired to pull out my water colours at the time]. Sometimes you have more fun when you are not trying to be perfect.

Illustrations by Melissa Gaggiano.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Nature's Way

    The world through my eyes. I see beauty in nature. Nature will find a way to shine on through even on the bleakest of days.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

DIY Lanterns

Design Sponge image link

    Through a series of clicks I came across this wonderful DIY upcycling project, involving a coffee addiction and a love of candles - Lanterns made out of used coffee tins. Check it out at Design Sponge.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Things Worth Noticing

    Following are some things worth noticing in my backyard today - coloured blocks, jasmine and a love heart caught in a web.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Love You, Bunny Boo

Shirt design by Melissa Gaggiano;
Available at Red Bubble.

    Hear ye! Hear ye! I have new shirt art available on Red Bubble. You can check it out by following this link.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Photography Delights

    I like making lists. For a short while a list can provide me with order in the chaos that is my mind. I read somewhere that our thoughts are made up of 'mind' and 'intellect'. The intellect analyses and the mind is like an internal voice that can cause confusion and sometimes negativity. But by making lists I like to think that [my] intellect is taking control of this horse driven carriage galloping out of control round a dangerously winding mountain road... And I digress. This was so not the reason that I started typing this blog entry.
    So, getting back on track.

    Today I would like to share with you a list of photographers who have inspired and influenced me. There are so many wonderful photographers out there and I wouldn't even know a tenth of them. When I first started peeking my head out of my mole hole and looking at the world of photography I was happily surprised that it was not an entirely male dominated industry. In fact, some female models have even made the transition to being behind the camera.

    And so my list begins:

Copyright Carla Coulson
    Carla Coulson was the first person to make me see that a creative dream is possible because she is proof of this. Carla took the most extreme sea change possible, leaving Australia and starting over in Italy. She lived simply, studied photography in a whole other language, struggled, laughed, cried, fell in love, and has never looked back. She even has a few published books to her name. It is because of Carla that I am not afraid to set my camera 1/60 - there is beauty in showing a little movement.

    George Seper has worked over thirty years with photography and has been a long time contributor to Vogue with his food and lifestyle photography. Additionally George is my tutor through the photography course I am doing so I have learned a great deal about using my camera from him. I feel very lucky to have his insights and perspective. George's food photography is a definite inspiration point for me.

    74 Lime Lane blogger, Kellie, is someone whose photography captured my attention a year or two ago. The objects she captures are such simple things you would find lying around the home. Yet through her eye those objects becoming something more than what they are.

Copyright Annie Tao
    Annie Tao is a San Franciscan lifestyle photographer. The lighting in her photos leave me spellbound. She has a real eye for this field of work. And the families keep coming back to her for repeat photo shoots.

Copyright Alexia Sinclair
    Alexia Sinclair is a fine art photographer who fantasy photography has found a place in the world of advertising. Her photography, incredibly, doesn't feel like photography. They are more like the paintings from bygone eras that you would find at art galleries. Alexia is very much involved in every step of her own projects, from the development, sewing, set up, photography, editing.

Copyright Katie Quinn Davies
    Katie Quinn Davies of What Katie Ate is [if you can't already guess] a food photographer. And I swear her photography makes me feel so hungry. And it's not just the food. There's just something romantic about her visual layouts, colour and texture choices, and lighting that so hit the mark for me.

    Helen Mclean has a vintage inspired photography studio. She provides women with an opportunity to have a retro/vintage fantasy glamour photo shoot - think Hollywood pin up of the 40's and 50's. Over the years she has built up her business, finding vintage garments and backgrounds for her clients. She even works with make up artists and hair dressers who specialise in vintage style.

    And there are just so many others - Mario Testino, Sølve Sundsbø, Howard Schatz, Norman Jean Roy, Athol Shmith, Ellen Von Unwerth, Lillian Bassman...

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Totally Epic Dude

Shirt illustration by Melissa Gaggiano;
Available at Red Bubble.

    I just had a lift to my day. When you least expect it. When you start to doubt your abilities something like this happens. One of my illustrations has sold over at Red Bubble.
    One of my favorite telly programs is the SoCal teen noir Veronica Mars. Awesome show, that. So this was my inspiration point for this shirt design.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Bon Appetit

    Finally! Finally, I was able to finish making a doll which had been conceived a couple of months ago. I had run out of some materials and was waiting for the right time to buy more. Well, that time has come. And now world let me introduce you to the cat doll Bon Appetit[named by my eldest].
    I managed to snap a couple of photos of Bon Appetit before she disappeared forever into my daughters land of fantastic wonder [translation - their bedroom].
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Oracle Speaks

    Here is a wonderful piece of inspiration. Alexandra Kovac has found time in her life to be a fashion designer of the label "Oracles". Just goes to show anything can start from your bedroom. Makes sense really, that is, after all, the place in which we dream.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Washi Ningyo

Link to
    I just stumbled across these gorgeous Japanese 3D paper dolls. If you love paper, and you love dolls, then you'll love these precious little pieces. These dolls are by Dust of Enchantment artist - Tracy Zagniotova.
    There is a lot of wonderful I could say about Tracy, but honestly she says it best. So I'll share her links, and you can have a read for yourself.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

J David McKenney

    I have a new inspiration point - J David McKenney, an in-demand fashion illustrator based in Brooklyn, who, a short while ago designed a fashion doll named Pidgin. What makes the Pidgin doll so amazing? Well, she is a modern fashion doll based on the traditional 'old fashion' china dolls that some of grew up with. Even more amazing J does all the work himself - he designed, sculpts, moulds, dries, paints, wigs and dresses the dolls himself. The ultimate artisan!
    I am so pleased to see someone doing something like this. I have, for many years have imagined china dolls being made modern, particularly with an 80s twist [but that is because I am partly stuck in the 80s].
    I've said enough. Now go find out for yourself what J and Pidgin are all about.

© J.D.McKenney
© J.D.McKenney
© J.D.McKenney
You can find J and Pidgin at the following links:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

New Blog - Try This

    Guess what! I have a new blog. I am testing new waters and expanding my field of interest to food. Well, I always did enjoy food, but now I thought I'd share some of my own thoughts on the subject. Let's see how it goes, yeah.
    Oh, and it might help if I mention the address of my new blog [tee-hee]...

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Garden of Sunflowers

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Garden of Sunflowers
A garden of Sunflower beckoned to me -
Come join us, my lady, and joyous you'll be!
We're large ones and small ones, some dainty and fair,
And even some delicate to wear in your hair.
We follow the sun, swaying slowly without a care,
We have a new dance that with you we will share.
Gently hold onto our leaves, allow us to lead the way,
To our Sunflower two-step, dancing throughout the day.
I couldn't resist them, so dandy a sight!
So off I did go in my Sunflower flight.
What a glorious time, right up til twilight,
And then I had to bid my Sunflowers good-night.
So happy were we, a long day filled with fun,
Upon leaving I kissed them, each and every one.
So tender the moment, as I turned to leave.
With eyes brimmed with tears, could I truly believe?
OH! It was so true!! I then knew it to be!!!
I had to smile, 'cause they were all winking at me!!!!
- Unknown Author

This Reminds Me Of...

    I was taking heaps of photos on the weekend. And after taking a certain kite flying photo I just thought that reminds me of a lovely Carla Coulson photo. There was just something about that one moment of movement. What do you think?
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.
Photography by Carla Coulson.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Paper Dolls & Beds

Craft & Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.
    A fair while ago I crafted out of tissue boxes an economical doll house [you will find the tutorial for this here].  The doll house was well loved and eventually had to be retired, but not without saving some parts for another doll house - such as the hand illustrated walls.
    Recently my eldest was pressing for another homemade doll house. This time I handed over creative control to my daughter, letting her decorate the joined tissue boxes with paint, feathers and cut up fashion magazines.
    The doll house was built but something was missing. It was sadly in need of people. So I made a paper doll family, including a cat.
    Alas the paper family needed a bed to sleep in. Again, out came the cardboard, pencil, pen, cutting board and what not. And the above beds were made with a some thought, and very little difficulty on my part. I had fun making the people and beds.