Friday, October 30, 2009

Cut, cut, cut

I've got cramps in my right fingers from cutting these felt circles that will become the eyes for my softies. It is rather therapeutic and mindless but nonetheless, painful!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing...Swift the Colt

In the spirit of Melbourne Cup here in Australia, I present to you Swift the Colt. Born to run, Swift aspires to be like Phar Lap. Secretly, he dreams he is Pegasus with wings that can take him high into the sky. At present, he is content to graze the rolling paddocks.

Swift is seeking someone who will love him and dream with him at the Dunsborough market. Oh, please don't mention the crinkly sound he makes when you hug him, he gets embarrassed. He thinks it is a flaw but it is probably one of the most endearing qualities he has!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The bee's knees

All done! The little bee balloon weights have been completed which now leaves my nights and weekends free. Guess what I'm going to fill my time with now? That's right! I'm going to put myself out there and make some things for that little stall at Dunsborough market. Watch this space!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

I just discovered Imogen Heap and I simply love the sound of Hide and Seek from her album Speak for yourself. There is something almost haunting about her voice that makes it linger in my head long after the song ends.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So little time... much to do!

A colleague has asked if I would like to join her in putting some wares together for a stall in the fortnightly market in Dunsborough in December. I've been umming and ahhing about it since she made the offer. My head has been filled with things to make the minute she asked me and it has been utterly distracting! I could make little rainclouds. What about fluffy ballerina skirts complete with tulle underskirt? Or simple black and white printed boys' Ts? Or...or...quick little softies?

I'm hesistant because I'm in the middle of making bee softies for my sister-in-law's engagement party. These bee softies are to be her helium balloon weights. I don't know if I have the energy to make all the things I want to make for the stall after making these bees!

I better quickly make up my mind because if I am going to go ahead and join in the stall, I'm going to have very late weeknights and full weekends.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photography - Renee Gardiner

I have just been recently introduced to the photography of Renee Gardiner. I find her subject matter interesting and her play of light even more engaging. My favourite out of her portfolio at Red Bubble is the Station Building. She has managed to capture the essence of dusk: the red of the earth and the deep dark blue of the sky.

I managed to get her to agree to an interview. Here is Renee in her own words:

Tell us how it all began? How did you start taking such beautiful photos? What inspired it?
My interest in photography developed from an early age. I have always had the desire within me to make pictures, to paint with light. I guess the beautiful landscape we lived in, in the hills of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, helped to develop and capture my interest in landscape and nature photography. Also my dad used to tell me stories about working in a darkroom when he was in his 20s. We always planned to set up a darkroom at home; unfortunately the plan never eventuated.

Over the years my parents spent a fair amount of money on film and developing prints for me. I used to set up a studio in my bedroom or somewhere around the house and make my twin sisters dress up so that I could take their pictures. I was never very good at it and my understanding of lighting and composition was very basic but I could have easily spent the entire weekend being lost in the practice of making pictures.

Of all the photographs you have taken, which is your favourite and why? What is the story behind it?
I find that favourites change overtime as I add new images to my folio. I have learnt that you generally enjoy the pictures you make when you enjoy the moment you are in. If I go out hunting for pictures rather than simply going out to make observations while having my camera by my side then I am generally not very pleased with the results.

I went travelling through outback South Australia with my partner earlier this year. I have a few photographs from that trip that I’m happy with. I really love the image of the bird in a tree. It was taken at a place called The Breakaways about 60 km north of Coober Pedy. It is a very important place for the local Indigenous people. To me the image represents the quiet of the moment. The lighting was amazing and the setting sun bounced beautiful rays of warm light onto the weathered landscape.

Give us a quick bio (of yourself) including top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites you must check everyday?
I have been living in Perth for almost a year now. Prior to that I was in Melbourne for a couple of years, where I studied photography through a private college. Melbourne really inspired my creativity; it’s so full of life and cultural and history. I hope to complete my studies in Perth in the near future.

I’m a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to interests. My favourite book is the Celestine Prophecy. While it is purely fictional there are a lot of important messages in it about connecting with people and not taking things for granted. I enjoy reading well written real life travel stories such as Baby in a Backpack to Bhutan by Bunty Avieson, Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald and I love the book Shantaram, which is a true story of escaped Melbourne prisoner, David Roberts on the run in India.

I appreciate all sorts of music from classical through to Aussie Hip Hop, as long as the artist is talented and genuine I can usually enjoy it. My favourite movies include Good Will Hunting, Love Actually and The Castle. As for websites I must check everyday, well I’m pretty glued to my email at the moment. It’s a cheap and easy way to communicate with loved ones across the country.

What was your earliest memory of receiving something beautiful?
I have to say that I’m racking my brains trying to think of the earliest memory. I remember playing with a friend in the yard as a child; my friend found a four leaf clover and gave it to me. I thought that was a pretty special gift. I find that the most beautiful things come from nature. I much prefer to receive a feather that someone has found on the ground or something that someone has made than purchased items. I do appreciate beautiful artwork. Recently a good friend gave me a painting of hers just for the sake of it. It now hangs proudly above the fireplace in the lounge room.

What do you like most about photography? Why?
I love that you can get lost in the moment with photography. When you are photographing a landscape or a street festival or a specific project you are completely absorbed in the place/event/ object/ idea. At the time nothing else matters. You become very connected to your subject very easily. Through photography you are able to explore and interpret details that are not easily seen or are overlooked in the hum of everyday life.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Extraordinary mondays - a peek into journals

I find such inspiration in other people's work and am ecstatic whenever creative people allow us a glimpse into their journals.

Here are some of the pages that I have been immersing myself in. One day...

Check out more from Anna Rusakova's portfolio here on the Behance Network.

A September page from Geninne's diary

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Human Family Tree | National Geographic Channel

Have you heard of this project? As I am writing this, I am watching it on the National Geographic channel and am AMAZED! We are all linked to ONE man and ONE woman all the way in Africa. The science in it is a little too much for me to explain here but you really have to go read about the project here and the specific genetic overview here.

The Human Family Tree retraces the deepest branches of the human race to reveal interconnected stories hidden in our genes - using diverse neighbors from a single street who represent a microcosm of the world.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The High Line

The High Line was designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scodifio + Renfro. It was a disused elevated railway line that ran through Manhattan and has been recently converted into an urban park. This definitely challenges what we could do in abandoned urban spaces.

The video below is of Robert Hammod, Co-founder and President of Friends of the High Line, talking about the project. It is a rather long video so make yourself comfortable before you begin.

Robert Hammond: Building the High Line from 99% on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's hot and what's not

I'm playing along with the What's Hot and What's Not that has been going around a little in the blog world.

What's hot:

The lovely weather we are experiencing here in Perth. The clear skies and the "just-right" temperatures. Hope this lasts. Weather in Perth has been not great lately. It's like winter is dragging its feet.

My parents are coming to stay with us for about 7 weeks!! YAY!

What's not:

Waking up in the middle of the night to feed Amelia. She is 19 months and really doesn't need the night feeds anymore!

The pile of work on my desk at work.

The lack of energy at the end of the day to complete that dinosaur library bag.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009 Show

This year's Perth Royal Show has come and gone. Of the photos taken during the day, this is my favourite! The photo was taken on the second round of spinning teacup ride.

It was Amelia's first time on rides this year and she absolutely LOVED it. Such a thrill seeker, she was. On the carousel, she refused to have her daddy's hand holding her and kept pushing his hand away. On the teacup ride, she laughed out in glee when it spun this way and that. She even wanted to go with her brother on the kiddie roller coaster. (We had to draw the line somewhere!)

As usual, the kids loved the animals and went on the compulsory camel ride and pony ride. (Yes, Amelia went on her very own pony ride too!) We didn't get to go to see the sheep, alpacas, pigs this year so we missed out on the petting farm but that's fine. The kids had a wonderful time and Amelia had her first experience of fireworks! True to her nature, was absolutely enthralled.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Extraordinary Mondays - the human body

In the last couple of days, it has struck me again and again how wonderful and mysterious the human body is. I accidentally bit, no, more like CHOMP-ed, on my tongue Sunday night and have been suffering since. Not only did the wound become cankerous sores to the total number of 6 in my entire mouth, but the doctor reckoned that some bugs got into my system which explains the fever and the really tender glands. I'm on amends. Was put on a broad antibiotic.

But whilst researching how to get rid of those stinging sores, particularly those on my tongue, I came across so many websites that reinforced the fact that we really don't know very much about the human body at all. Doctors on many occasions can only give us an educated guess at what is wrong.

It surely does reinforce the message that I am "fearfuly and wonderfully made."

Anyway, here are some random facts about our body. All taken, shamelessly, from the website: Random Facts.

37 Interesting Facts About . . .
The Human Body
  1. In the average adult, the skin covers 12-20 square feet and accounts for 12% of body weight.b
  2. There are more than 600 individual skeletal muscles in the human body.c
  3. An adult skeleton has 213 bones.a
  4. Cartilage is one of the few tissues that grows throughout life. Between ages 30 and 70, a nose might grow half an inch, and the ears grow about a quarter of an inch.e
  5. A newborn's skull contains gaps between its bony plates. In an adult, the jagged plates interlock tightly like a jigsaw puzzle.a
  6. The average human head has about 100,000 hairs.c
  7. As a person ages, the diameter of each hair on the head shrinks. Hair is thickest in the early 20s, but by age 70, it can be as fine as a baby's. Aging also causes hair to grow where it is not wanted, such as in the nose and ears, and to fall out where it is desired.e
  8. Hundreds of billions of neurons carry electrical signals that control the body from the brain and the spinal cord.c
  9. alien's hand
    Alien hand syndrome occurs when a brain injury victim loses control over a hand, as if it is possessed by an alien being
  10. After sustaining trauma to the brain—such as an injury, stroke, or infection—some people develop "alien hand syndrome," a condition where the victim can feel sensation in the hand, but has no control over movement and does not sense the hand as a part of the body, as if it belonged to an alien being.d
  11. The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that the brain exists mainly to help cool the spirit. It is now known that the brain controls nearly every function of the body and mind.c
  12. When the pituitary gland malfunctions, it can boost or reduce the amount of growth hormone in a growing child's body, resulting in gigantism or dwarfism.a
  13. The senses are highly attuned to our world, but they have limits. For example, humans cannot see in the ultraviolet spectrum as bees do, nor can they differentiate between the hundreds of millions of odors that a bloodhound can.c
  14. The appendix has no function in modern humans. It is believed to have been part of the digestive system in our primitive ancestors.b
  15. Humans smell “in stereo.” Scent signals from each nostril travel to different regions in the brain. This may help a person determine the direction the odor is coming from.c
  16. The skin contains approximately 640,000 sense receptors, scattered unevenly over the body's surface. These receptors are most abundant in the ridges of the fingertips, in the lips, at the tip of the tongue, in the palms, on the soles of the feet, and in the genitals.e
  17. An estimated five million olfactory receptors are clustered in the membrane at the upper part of our nasal passages. These receptors help us distinguish among thousands of different odors.e
  18. There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of the tongue, in the throat, and on the roof of the mouth.b Taste buds contain chemoreceptors that respond to chemicals from food and other substances that are dissolved by the saliva in the mouth.e
  19. Humans produce about 10,000 gallons of saliva in a lifetime. Saliva is required for taste—until food is dissolved by saliva, we cannot taste it.b
  20. Hearing is one of the less acute senses in humans, compared to the many other animals which can detect sound at much higher and lower frequency than humans can.c
  21. reading glasses
    The lens of the eye thickens as a person ages, causing many middle-aged people to need glasses
  22. As humans grow older, the lens in the eye grows thicker. This is why people who once had perfect vision often need glasses in their 40s.c
  23. An adult human body contains approximately 100 trillion cells.e
  24. The body carries about 25 trillion red blood cells (erythrocytes), the most abundant cells in the body. Red blood cells make up about 45% of blood's volume.e
  25. Every hour, about 180 million newly formed red blood cells enter the bloodstream. Red blood cells are basically shells. Before being released from the bone marrow, most of a red blood cell's internal structure is ejected, creating a disc-shaped balloon that is ideal for carrying oxygen and a small amount of the body's carbon dioxide.c
  26. White blood cells, or leukocytes, make up about 1% of blood. This number can double within a day when a body responds to infection.c
  27. The circulatory system of arteries, veins, and capillaries is about 60,000 miles long.e
  28. The heart beats more than 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime.b
  29. Unlike other muscles, the heart muscle contracts without stimulus from the nervous system. Signals for the heart to beat come from the sinoatrial node near the top of the right atrium.c
  30. In a healthy adult, the small intestine can range between 18 and 23 feet long, about four times longer than the person is tall.b About 90% of the body's nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine.c
  31. At about five feet in length, the large intestine is shorter than the small intestine. However, it is more spacious so it can store and process material that will be eliminated.c
  32. There are approximately 400 feet of seminiferous tubules in the testes of a human male.c This is where sperm is stored until an ejaculation releases 200 million to 500 million sperm, each of which is capable of fertilizing an egg.e
  33. During ovulation, the number of white blood cells in the cervical mucus drops dramatically. If it did not, the white blood cells would destroy all foreign bodies, including sperm.e
  34. Unlike other cells, which contain an individual's full DNA, the egg and sperm each contain only half of the DNA required to create a new human. Both halves must be combined for humans to reproduce.g
  35. baby eating
    A good diet helps a child's brain develop properly
  36. Proper diet is critical for brain development in children. The brains of children who have died of malnutrition during the first year of life have fewer brain cells and an overall smaller size than the brains of healthy children.f
  37. DNA, the basic building block of life, is a long molecule containing four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T), and cytosine (C).g
  38. The human genome—half the DNA contents of a single nucleus—contains about 31 billion base pairs: 31,000,000,000 A's, G's, T's, and C's.g
  39. Six billion steps of DNA are contained in a single cell. This DNA can be stretched six feet, but it is coiled up in the cell's nucleus, which measures only 1/2500 of an inch in diameter.e
  40. The maximum length of a mammal's life is generally related to its size. Thus, a man's lifespan should be somewhere between that of a goat and a horse, between 10 and 30 years. However, humans have developed ways to protect themselves from predators and disease, increasing their average lifespan to 74.7 years in the United States.e

-- Posted March 2, 2009

a Alexander, R. McNeill. 2005. Human Bones. New York, NY: Nevraumont Publishing Company.

b "Human Anatomy Online." Accessed: February 21, 2009.

c McMillan, Beverly. 2006. Human Body: A Visual Guide. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books (U.S.) Inc.

d "Definition of Alien Hand Syndrome." Accessed: February 21, 2009.

e National Geographic Society. 1986. The Incredible Machine. Washington, D.C.: The National Geographic Society.

f Restak, Richard M. 1979. The Brain: The Last Frontier. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.

g Watson, James D. 2003. DNA: The Secret of Life. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Textures of Kalgoorlie

So now that I am back on familiar grounds with a watery edge to orientate myself, I've had a chance to look back at the collection of images taken during my visit. Here are some snapshots of my visit:

Boulder town hall, home of the famous Goatcher Curtain. A painted stage curtain to complete the "picture-frame" stage. Painted by Philip Goatcher in 1908, in a trompe l'oeil style of a Neopolitan scene with Mount Vesuvius in the background. Read more about it here.

And more interesting to me were the chairs in the dress circle.

Kalgoorlie and Boulder had the most lovely stone used in their buildings. My photography skills really failed to bring any of the colour and the red vein alive. So sorry!

I also saw some really sad examples of how some stone buildings were painted over and had their mortar joints repaired with cement rich mortar. For those who aren't sure why this is bad, let me explain. Painting stone is a big NO-NO. It stops the stones from breathing and causes major damp issues. Stone needs to be allowed to dry out. Acrylic paint basically plastic coats the stone and traps the water that rises into the stonewall from the ground (if the damp proof course has been breached). The image below is of some repair work that was done using cement rich mortar. Cement rich mortar is really hard and will eventually eat away at the stone that it is in contact with. The basic rule is that mortar must always be softer than the stone/block. This wall isn't going to survive for very long. The best thing here is to chip the cement mortar away and mix and use a lime-sand mortar instead. (preferably using local sand, in this case, beautiful RED sand).

Oh and finally, a shot of the little lane way of Barista 202. We did finally get a chance to have lunch there and the food was basic. The odd thing was, I had my apple juice served in a Styrofoam cup. As you may have noticed, it is a pretty funky little space, complete with artwork by local artist for sale. Lovely, I would go again for the atmosphere.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Show and more to come

show09chriskueh4, originally uploaded by Chris Kueh.

I'm so sorry I've been quiet for a couple of days. Since coming back from Kalgoorlie, I've been playing catch up with the work that has piled on my desk and recovering from the trip. I've not been feeling very well either. I feel like my body is finally giving in to a cold or flu. NOOOO!!!!

Anyway, there is at least one more concluding post to come of Kalgoorlie trip as well as images from this year's Perth Royal Show. Tonight or tomorrow. I promise. In the mean time, I leave you an image from a good friend of mine's photostream of the show.


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