Sunday, 28 October 2012

Photo Therapy

    I am struggling with one of photography course assignments [it is on light metering and using gray cards - Ack! I never want to see another gray card again]. So I took a break from the homework and just had fun with my camera. I took some photos of my favourite people. Photo therapy is great for me - it is a lot more fulfilling and a whole lot less expensive than shop therapy.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Trip to the Kazoo

    My eldest has a different word for zoo. It is kazoo. So... last year the family visited the kazoo. And it was the first kazoo outing for both of the girls.
    I went back through some of my photo archives of that time and found these wonderful shots...
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.


Illustrations by Melissa Gaggiano.
Inspiration Jem, flowers, dolls.

    End of the week arrives and not a moment too soon. But perhaps a couple of days late for those who are feeling burnt out already. There have been early mornings and evenings with very little rest. Busy doing a little bit of this and not so much of that. My sewing machine bit the dust just as I was on the verge of trying new creative ideas combining drawing and sewing [swear, swear, profanity]. I knuckled down and read module 3 of my photography course at 5 in the morning [and it actually made sense]. I practiced taking photos and discovered that with enough light ISO 1600 can look good in monochrome, but this setting must be used discriminantly. I read about a Melbournian photographer - Athol Shmith. I tried reading Out of Africa, but have only gotten as far as page one. Did I mention my sewing machine is out of action - yeah! that really sucks.
On the upside I've got saturday night pizza to look forward to. Yum-yum!

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Channelling Chrissie Amphlett

    I was taking photos of my eldest using high ISO settings in black and white. I wanted to see how it look with a strong grain. I'm not usually a fan of grain, but I thought it might be effective in monochromatic mode. Anyway here are a couple of my favourite shots of my eldest - I think she was channelling Chrissie Amphlett...

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Up your nose with a... uh... pencil.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

We're having pizza on Saturday night. OMG!
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Darn It

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.
    Well, darn it! My sewing machine just bit the dust. And I was right in the middle of learning a different stitch. Will have to turn my creative outpourings in another direction this week. Luckily I still have my photography and drawing.

Feelin' Crafty

    Feelin' crafty the past few days. I have actually been on something of a roll and have done some craft sewing, as can be seen...
    I made a felty sandwich as a present for an upcoming birthday. This pattern came from Myrtle and Eunice and if you visit their blog you will find a link to this sandwich tutorial.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

    And after that I made a spoon doll for my eldest. This project came out of a Wee Wonderfuls book which I borrowed from a library [I will have to buy this book, because I borrow this all the time]. I didn't follow the pattern exactly. A few modifications were required. I had a different sized spoon and my eldest wanted the doll to look more like Alice [in Wonderland] so I altered the hair. Anyway the doll was finished in just under two days, between other things and she was christened Meike Alice.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

    Now, what will I do next?.. I am wanting to try something on my sewing machine - free motion sewing. So I'll do that next.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Walk in the Park

    It's not always a walk in the park, but sometimes there are going to be wonderful moments when being a parent is.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Books and Coffee

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.

Some people are addicted to books.
Some are addicted to coffee.
Some are addicted to books about coffee.
Some are addicted to books covered in coffee.
And some just love to drink their coffee and read a good book.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stir Fry Inspiration

    Last night I had a bit of spice and flavour in my meal. It was a satay stir-fry with a side of rice and snow peas. If you'd like to give it a try, I have included the recipes below.
Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.

Stir Fried Snow Peas

  •       250 g snow peas
  •       1 tbs sesame seed oil
  •       1 tbs finely chopped garlic
  •        ¼ tsp salt


1. Heat oil in a preheated wok [or fry pan], on medium high.
2. Add garlic and stir fry until scented.
3. Throw in snow peas and salt. Stir-fry for no more than 2 minutes.

Chicken Satay Stir Fry


  •       Peanut oil
  •       4 chopped chillies
  •       6 garlic cloves crushed
  •       1-2 tbs dark roasted curry powder
  •       Light and dark soy sauce
  •       ½ lemon [grate the skin for zest and squeeze the juice]
  •       2 chicken fillets diced
  •       5 large tbs peanut butter
  •       Optional: Add a garnish of chopped coriander and spring onions. Yum!


    1.    Heat oil in wok 3-5 minutes, on high.
    2.    Stir-fry chilli, garlic and onion. Do this until the onion is golden brown.
    3.    Stir in chicken until sealed.
    4.    Add big splashes of soy sauce.
    5.   Add peanut butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and curry powder. Stir everything together until it is a nice consistency.

Note: Serve with a side of your favourite rice. At the moment I am partial to basmati rice.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Where It's At

    I have a couple of artistic projects and things on the go. I am sewing a birthday present for a relative [while watching Enterprise]. Taking photos and working through module 3 of my photography course [through The Photography Institute]. Plus I have the ever growing list of potential art/craft projects on the backburner [which means I am giving it a lot of thought when I am wide awake at 3 in the morning and that's as far as it goes sometimes. Oh so many ideas so little time.]

There are many, many artist who inspire me and I admire with a passion. And the following are at the top of my inspiration/admiration list:

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Fantastical Photography

    I love being able to see into artist's studios and even watching them at work. Here is a wonderful behind the scenes video for a fantasy photoshoot from one of my favourite artists - Doe Deere. This is wonderful inspiration. Love it, love it, love it!!!

8 Days in the Life of Us

Comic strip by Melissa Gaggiano.

    All week it's been the same thing from my eldest "Let's have HJs", although she was already told we would be having a meal at HJs on the weekend. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday. My realisation is that 3 year olds do not have a real concept of time. Today, tomorrow, next week, next Birthday - it all means 'now'. Well, at least I can say it is finally the weekend now.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


    This music video just says it all about imagination. Don't you think? Or perhaps I should say 'imagine'.

A Nice Room

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.
    On a cold and wet day like this I cannot think of anything nicer than curling up with a bunch of nice books to read, a cup of earl grey tea, a croissant and a bowl of fresh strawberries.
    What about you? What is your perfect wet weather scenario?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Journal page by Melissa Gaggiano.
    Sometimes when my creativity is stumped I find it helps to unjumble my thoughts by writing it all out. The words may not always make sense, but the act of the journal brain dump is just one step toward bringing a sense of order to oneself. This is especially when you can't figure out your next move.

Coin Laundry

    This is just so sweet - a Lisa Mitchell music video called Coin Laundry. I just wanted the boy to see the girl...

It's List Time

    You know it is time to make a list or two when there are things you want to do, but just cannot seem to get started. Yep! That is my head space at the moment.
    On the flip side I do have some wonderful library books that I look forward to plowing through. Beginning with My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
Art by Melissa Gaggiano.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Moments Like This

    Capturing moments like this warms my heart. You gotta catch those beautiful moments. I love Spring time and flowers. I love photography and magical moments in a day. And I love my family.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tough Skater

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.
    Today I felt like doing some drawing. One idea that had been rolling around in my head for a long while, led to a sketch, which then turned into this illustration.

An 80s Treasure

    I am mad on the 80s. Those were my childhood years. And Hall and Oates music was a highlight of that period in my life. I especially like this song of theirs...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Friday Appreciation

    It's Friday! It's Friday! Happy dance for everyone!
    So what is today all about? Enjoying the warmer weather. Dreaming about pizza. Loving the awesome sunsets that come with the warmer weather. Eating lunch outdoors. Gardening. Letting the kids play in the garden. Going for walks.

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

It's a Room

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.
    It is a hot one today. 29 degrees C to be exact. So I am making the best of the day indoors - a little dinner preparation [Tandoori chicken tonight], a game of snakes and ladders, reading for my  photography course, and this illustration.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bird Scuffle

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.
    Spring time in Australia means wearing hats and not just because of the harsh UV rays. In Spring the birds go absolutely nuts. It is baby time for the birds and the magpies are at their most antisocial best - swooping people and picking fights with others of the feathered variety.

The Delphinium Post

Illustration by Melissa Gaggiano.
    Today I finally pulled my green thumb out and plant a packet delphinium seeds. It felt good to be out in the garden - I think Spring has that affect on me. Suddenly I just want to be growing new plants, or even illustrating them for that matter.

The Declaration Tree

    Today I took the girls out to a different park and discovered an interesting tree. It is covered in many declarations of love and so, I call it the declaration tree.
Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.
    And there it was! I suppose it is unavoidable being that Twilight is the hot topic for young things at the moment, that someone would express their undying love for the cute wolf boy-man... [and I swear it wasn't me].

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday Magic

    Goodness! I am exhausted and the week as only just begun. Are you feeling deflated too?
    Hopefully I'll have a bit more pep tomorrow. Well anyway, I thought I'd share some of my photo magic from today.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Flowers in Spring

    As much as a poet cannot avoid writing about Spring. I cannot help but photograph beautiful flowers in this warmer season.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano.