Friday, 31 October 2014

Fab Finds 10

And now, for my latest batch of fab finds...

1. I was reading about a German tradition, and this is unbelievably cute and cool [and I don't know why we don't all do it], that involves kids going to their first day of school with a huuuuge paper cornets. These huuuuge paper cornets are filled with chocolates, sweets and school supplies. Tell me, what could wouldn't want to go to school when they've got this welcoming package to take along. Etsy Graphic Designer - Anda Corrie shares her DIY project on how to make one of these cornets.
Photo by Anda Corrie

2. Through a friend and fellow photography enthusiast, I have come across yet another photography enthusiast,  Kim Klassen [doesn't that just sound like that could be a high end fashion label]. Kim's own website is dedicated not only to her own photography but also sharing and being part of an online community of photographers. If you are into still life, food, country style photography this is a place for you.
Kim Klassen Photography

3. I am loving this new-old lens that has just hit the market - the new Petzval lens. Now here is the thing about the Petzval - it first came out in 1840. That is a very, very long time ago. That goes way beyond being retro. That's steam punk! And the lens looks steam punk to boot. So anyway, the Petzval was so highly regarded that it is back in production and is available for modern Nikon and Canon cameras. How cool is that! The Petzval is rather special as a portrait lens - it creates a sharp centre, has narrow depth of field, and pretty bokeh. Ooh! I'm cackling like a delighted witch just thinking about this lens.
The new Petzval lens

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


SHARE if your kids/husband/sister/mum/dad/brother/sister/half-sister/cousin-twice-removed/facial-mole-once-removed/surfboard/boss/the-TV-show-Friends/smartphone are the best thing to ever happen to you.
No! I take that back. Don’t share! For the sake of everyone’s mental health, please just do not share. It drives me bananas each and every time I see a message pop up on social media inviting me to share said message if I love the people in my life. SHARE if I think child abuse is evil. SHARE if I think animal abuse is evil. SHARE if my sister is my best friend. SHARE if my partner is my soul mate. SHARE to end war. SHARE. SHARE. SHARE! Arrrrrrrrrgh!

On a weekly basis messages such as this pass from my computer screen and enter my brain like a guilt guided missile. Because I know that if I don’t share that message that means I am one selfish ass. And when the people in my social network see that I haven’t shared when they so obviously have, they too will also know that I am a truly crummy person, thus placing them on a high pedestal in life. Show offs!

Okay, that last bit is probably wildly inaccurate and a tad bit over the top. I’m sure that my friends and acquaintances, really don’t have the time to check if I have shared the message, so are not really spending their day judging me for such things, but sweet Jesus, it doesn’t change the fact that this share phenomena is causing me all kinds of inner turmoil. If I don’t share then I’m implying I don’t care about people, animals and world peace, which is so not the case. I want nothing but the best for the planet and everyone living on it.

On the flipside if I share one of those messages it’s got to be because I want to share and not because I’ve been bullied into sharing. Essentially if I press share then I will have done it, not because those things are true, but because I have to prove that I too am a good person. Share. Click. See everyone, I’m one of the good, and you can’t say I’m not because I shared this message. So can you see how a simple message of love and supposed empathy can be turned into a message of self-doubt and nagging guilt?

So the next time you receive one of those share messages, before you hit share, ask yourself am I doing this because I want to, or because I have something to prove. And if you are sharing that message, think about all those people who are going to receive that message and are going to wonder what you’re trying to prove.

Rant over. Ooh, look at that. I got another share. What will I do?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Who Remembers Supergirl?

[The one about a controversial hoodie]

Helen Slater as Supergirl [1984]

Today I am wearing my super hero hoodie. I love it. It provides both physical warmth and inner strength with its iconic bright blue, yellow and red colours. When I wear my hoodie I am empowered. I walk down the street and women quietly smile at me. Girls stare in awe. On the flipside of things little boys and grown men stop me in the street and say things like “Hey! You’re a girl. Why are you wearing a Superman jumper?” “Shouldn’t you be wearing a Wonder Woman top?” “Hey, it’s Superman!” comments such as this make me feel like I’ve accidentally wandered into the men’s toilet [and believe me I know, as in a desperate moment I have actually done that]. It’s as though by wearing this one garment I’m defying the imaginary laws of gender.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Superman. One of many highlights of my 80s childhood was watching Christopher Reeves play Superman, opposite Margot Kidder on the silver screen. Another important highlight was seeing Supergirl come to life in the form of Helen Slater. The much slated [Yeah, yeah! I’m a terrible one for puns] Supergirl film moved me because there was an example of a girl-woman taking control of her life and becoming a peaceful and powerful person. Plus she could fly and wear a cape, how cool was that!
Supergirl shouldered responsibility and saved the world without the interference/help [depending on how you want to look at it] of a man. Not even her cousin, Superman was around to patronise her. And even though, along the way, there were men treating Supergirl as a sexual plaything, she stood her ground and pushed back.
But that was then [1984] and this is now [2014] and okay, so maybe not everyone is going to remember Helen Slater’s Supergirl. Surely though with Supergirl appearing in other more recent television programs, she would not have fallen completely into a pop cultural black hole. Or did she?
At the end of it all a thought will continue to badger this girl-woman. Why after all this time will some guys feel the need to question my right to wear a symbol of power and strength? Let’s face it, that’s at the core of this hoodie pickle. I feel like they’re telling me that the super symbol does not belong on a female.
I may never understand the psychology behind this gender stuff. But no matter how many times I am stopped in the street by the opposite sex I will continue to wear my super hoodie till there’s nothing left of it. If nothing else I want my daughters to believe that Supergirl exists and that she belongs in that hoodie.

Friday, 17 October 2014

I Opened My Mailbox

… and was pleasantly surprised.
You've Got Mail

    In a time when people send emails, text message, PM, Skype, 'like', 'unlike', 'block' and ignore, it comes as a sweet surprise when I open the mailbox and find an actual… yes, an actual… letter.
    It came from the winner of my recent giveaway. It really doesn't take much to make my day and a letter from overseas can pretty much do it for me. Thank you Donna!
    A message that can be touched, smelt, has texture, and you know was actually written on and handled by the recipient. A physical letter is a powerful thing to hold. I happen to feel the same way about books. I've given electronic books a go, but I prefer picking up a paper book. I feel like I'm absorbing more detail off paper - the connection is stronger there, I think.


Thank Goodness For Good Things

    I am always busy with something. I don't like being idyll for long periods. Thank goodness for paint brushes, water colour paints, and my Wacom tablet.
Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Block It In

    Excited much!* I will have a stall, selling my dolls, at the South Sea Roller Derby double hitter. Check out all the pertinent details...

South Sea Roller Derby
* Buffy speak

Auto-Correct Humanity

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 
~ Ferris Bueller

"So put away the G.D. cell phone and talk to the person who is actually in front of you."
~ me

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Magic in a Bottle

Photo Link
    I love those little vials of magic potions that get thrown about in the television series Charmed. It would be a dream to have one of those sleepy time vials on hand for when I am much too wired and need to sleep. One can only wish, or at least be satisfied with Sleepy Time tea.

    So I was plenty excited when I found a packet of vials in the local $2 complete with corks. I snapped up those vials and quite simply for the fun of it began filling up those corks with fun things - glitter and a handmade treasure map.
Treasure map by Melissa Gaggiano

    You can have a ton of fun with these vials. Put any ingredients you want into them. Though it might be preferable to use things that aren't likely to rot or disintegrate anytime soon. Try sand, beads, minerals, glitter, paper, shells and feathers even [if small enough]. These decorated vials can make easy and fun homemade presents for people. Consider tying ribbon around the vial necks and making necklaces. You can get lots of ideas for vial decorating at this Pinterest link.

Melissa Gaggiano Photography

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Take Me Back, Thursday

Loved the music of the 80s. Here's my little throw back to my childhood era…

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Dilly Dally Doodle

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Chicken Philosophy

Melissa Gaggiano Photography
Sitting with the chooks
The kind I'd never cook
Blanket of light
Stretches into shades of night
Feathers flutter and flick
Orange fluffy candles lit
Egyptian walk and kiss the ground

I feel warm and cool
I feel tame and calm
Not knowing about tomorrow
For now that doesn't matter
I give my time to the chickens
They give me back some time

I let them graze and wander
The chickens leave me to wonder
Scratch. Dig. Kiss the earth.
A chickens call to love. Eat. Pray.