29 June 2012

Death by Doxie : Ferdi's Haircut

It's Summer here in Seoul and as much as I adore Ferdi's fluffy hair which often looks a little like he's over done it with the crimper, it really doesn't suit these hot humid days. With all his hair Ferdi looks quite miserable as soon it gets a bit sultry, he starts panting just walking to his food bowl. So the Summer shave is a necessity. Really. 

It's just a side benefit that he looks so hilariously cute that I get weeks and weeks of entertainment, quietly chuckling to myself whenever I see him. Oh, and the puffy lions tail? That's the groomer being artistic - I'm not so cruel as to actually ask for that...(am I paranoid or is he rolling his eyes at me a little in that second photo?). 

Here's a before shot for comparison:

28 June 2012


Hello! How are you? I do hope you're well and coping with the humidity/wild fires/ridiculous cold/whatever else is happening in your bit of the world. We are back in Seoul (briefly) after a wonderful whirlwind of a trip. 

I've been in Hong Kong for 24 busy and rather sweaty hours (and had a pretty disappointing stay here, next time I'll be staying here instead). Then I had a too brief two days in Melbourne with the family, including my Mum, who is recovering from a knee operation with an impressive rapidity. (I'm fairly sure I've inherited the dodgy knees, so I'm hoping the quick bounce back is genetic too...)

Then we had a pretty awesome weekend in Sydney to celebrate the in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. Hanging out with my husbands rather large family was a bit of a treat as they are normally scattered about the globe (or at least scattered about Sydney) - to have them all together and enjoying each other's company is a rare and wonderful thing indeed. 

Oh! And we met with our architect to discuss the possibilities for the BIG project, which was ridiculously exciting. I found the firm via Google, so to actually meet them and think 'yes! this is perfect!' (and to have my notoriously picky husband agree) was quite a relief! 

And we also enjoyed what was quite possibly the best restaurant meal I've ever had the pleasure of eating, thanks to the generous in-laws and Pilu at Freshwater. The food was spectacular, as was the company, the beach and the sunset - we even saw two whales floating by! A meal to remember indeed.

19 June 2012

Oh the places we'll go...

Over the next 104 days I'm in transit or away from home for 58 of them. That's 7 different trips, some with mini trips inside them, over the next 3 and a bit months.

We'll be visiting tombs (and water parks) in Gyeongju; avoiding/enjoying roller coasters in Singapore; celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary in Hong Kong; skiing in New South Wales; soaking up the sun (and salami) in Spain; and visiting the holy lands on a rather big boat. Which is all pretty awesome* but no doubt means that normal life (or what passes for normal life) will probably be interrupted.


So over the next few months if you don't see me on Twitter or Instagram, or if I'm not leaving comments on all your wonderful blogs, or if things are a bit quiet around here - it's not because I don't love you, it's because I'm travelling, somewhere. Cue vintage travel posters...

If you're curious about the Helsinki and Finland posters - we fly to Europe via Helsinki. Yes, we'll only be there for about 5 hours in total, but how could I possibly leave those two posters of awesome out of the collage? 

ps. If you're a Dr Seuss purist, many apologies for the bastardisation of a much loved title...

18 June 2012

Three Etsy Things : Patterned Yellow

The other day I was happily going about my Etsy business, favouriting things at random as I came upon, when I realised there was a bit of a theme running through all these items that I was showering love upon. And so, 'Three Etsy Things' was born! Welcome to the inaugural post, which is somewhat obsessed with all things patterned and yellow. 

15 June 2012

Death by Doxie : Hallway Hounds

So, this is what happens when you lure two dark dogs into a brightly lit hallway with some doggie treats, point your 50mm fixed lens (set on the lowest f stop, 1.8) at them and fire away! Ferdi and Elfi looked so cute waiting for their treats that I had to grab my camera (and torture them just a little longer) - the way they stood out against the bright white glow of the hallway was a rather pleasant surprise. 

These shots are barely post-edited, apart from a little cropping and removal of dandruff - it's just the magic of light and the way the camera interprets that light. Who would have thought that our boring, bland hallway would result in some of my favourite photos of the dogs so far (though pity that last one isn't quite in focus)? 

Photography is such a lovely blend of science and art; planning and happenstance; attempted control and wonderful moments of serendipity, like this one. As much as I've learnt, and as much as I still need to learn about it (I've barely scratched the surface really), sometimes the best shots just seem to kind of 'happen'.

Do you love those moments when things come together in a click? Those times when unexpected results turn out to be better than anything you could have planned?

12 June 2012

Mail Art from Jessica Gowling

Jessica was super quick in replying to my last package to her, however I have not been super quick in blogging about her lovely package (or in putting together a reply for that matter!). The envelope included a typed note, postcards, stickers and some sand and a seashell from a recent holiday. Unfortunately the shell didn't survive the trip, but everything else did! I am especially fond of the deer postcard and the blue patterned circle (which is actually a round playing card, very cool!). 
ps. If you haven't checked out Jessica's Etsy shop 'Nature's My Friend' lately go have a look. She's been on a major makeover mission and has come up with something pretty special. Wonderful photos that complement her products and make a clear statement about her 'brand' - an inspiration to any of us selling online, I think!

10 June 2012

Collecting Colour : June is White

Well, white has been a rather lovely surprise! Even though the thought of a white collection intimidated me a little, in the end I did two collections because I was having so much fun with it! 

Serendipitously I've been a bit (okay, a lot!) obsessed with collecting white mid-century modern vases over the past twelve months, so the first collection (above) is all of my treasured vessels laid out. 

And yes, I may have put a black and white filter over this shot, which may be considered cheating, but I loved the way it brought out the shadow and pattern - it was hard to resist. As penance I haven't used a filter for any of the other photos in this post, hence the slightly creamier tone in the rest of the pics. (If you're interested the filter I used is the 'red high-contrast filter' from the Lightroom 4 'B&W Filter Presets'.) I loved taking shots of the textures so much, here's just a small selection.
And here they are in their natural habitat! Atop a Gunni Omann rosewood sideboard and with a Lisa Congdon bird print nestled happily amongst them.

My second white collection was a bit more traditional - made up of objects found about the house, including my beloved Fujifilm Instax mini, two hairbrushes, some paper doillies, a lego snowflake (which is going to be a big source of inspiration once xmas rolls around this year!), a vintage beaded purse (which is probably more cream than white but it's just so pretty...), some cotton buds and (of course) a dachshund! So - don't be afraid of white! Dive on in, I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

* * * * * * *

Every month through 2012 I'll be 'collecting colour', and you can join in too!  Link up below, and/or add your photo to the Flickr group here.  And go here to get all the information you need.  

07 June 2012

Mail Art from Saylor Made

Running a little bit behind with my mail art posts... Here's a wonderful reply I received from Jeannine of Saylor Made a little while ago. She always puts together such thoughtful packages. I especially loved the two handmade mini envelopes - isn't the origami paper just gorgeous? The camera watercolour is fantastic too; I love the juxtaposition of man made and organic, of precise and random.

(ps. Notice the Korean masking tape on the envelope in the photo above? That's because it was opened! I wander what Mr Postman and/or Mrs Customs Official thought of it all?)
In other news - I'm planning some time to work on this months 'Collecting Colour' collection tomorrow. The theme is white which I'm finding a little intimidating! I've got a few ideas as to how to tackle it, so we'll see how it all goes. Will you be playing along this month?

02 June 2012

Good Things...

Kicking off another batch of good things with the heart-stoppingly awesome Uniqlo x mt collaboration. Uniqlo is a prolific collaborator, and they tend to find some pretty great companies and people to work with, but I think this kicks it to a whole new level. Look at those prints! Look at those colours! 

Unsurprisingly I've been a little swamped with t-shirt requests from my Australian friends and family, but I'm only too happy to oblige - got to make the most of Asian shopping while we're here! (Oh, and if you're buying these in Japan apparently each tee comes with a roll of tape!)

Next up is the fabulously inspiring book Street Photography Now. I've been increasingly obsessed with street photography over the past year or so, and have recently even plucked up the nerve to try my hand at it. Street Photography Now offers a great introduction to some of the best photographers working the streets right now, as well as a bit of an overview as to how the art has evolved over the years. Not only is it chock full of witty, poignant, beautiful street scenes but it also contains a number of essays which I'm loving reading. 

The first essay 'Stare, Pry, Listen, Eavesdrop' discusses the legal and moral issues of the art, and provides some insight in to the mind of a street photographer - it's reassuring to read that most practitioners feel some degree of nervousness about shooting strangers. I also liked that Nils Jorgensen often won't 'look at my street photographs for many months after taking them - years even - only coming back to them when I want to and feel its right'. Hey, if it works for him... 

(There has been some angst around how sources are cited in this book - it does have a list of further reading/blogs at the back but doesn't directly cite sources for quotes - but I get SO excited about all the creative possibilities every time I look at it, I'm kind of turning a blind eye to that...)

Then we have the artistic stylings of Lena Wolff - an 'interdisciplinary' artist whose influences include folk art, American craft traditions and the natural world. She works largely with paper, but often treats it in the manner of fabric, with references to textile art and quilt making in her work. All of which adds up to awesome. The work above ('Night Flowering Tree') is a paper collage, and the one below ('Mariner's Compass') is a piece of precisely drilled wood over a light box filled with hundreds of tiny light bulbs - amazing huh?

It's been out for awhile but Jon Klassen's kids book 'I want my hat back' is so very good it has to be a part of this post. It's not just his fabulous, personality packed illustrations - it's one of the funniest picture books I've ever seen (possibly even surpassing 'The Happy Hocky Family' in sly hilarity). And no, I do not have young children (and the dogs don't read), but this doesn't stop me from enjoying books for young children (or movies, for that matter). Also, in other Jon Klassen news, he's done the cover for the current issue of UPPERCASE. Nice one.

And lastly, a little dose of blatant self promotion - after a hiatus of several months Jorpins Handmade on etsy is re-open! Hurrah! The card above is one of the new range of photo note cards that I'll be listing over the coming days. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out - what do you think? There's also note books and gift / party favour tags (more tags in new colours coming next week!), and some push pins, magnets and more in the works... Exciting times!

01 June 2012

Death by Doxie : More! Elfi on the Sick Bed

The great news in our world at the moment is that the husband is almost fully recovered! He's back home and back at work and no longer losing a lung and/or climbing the walls with boredom. We missed our trip to Australia but instead flew the step-sons to Seoul for a few days, which was perfect - just what the doctor ordered, you might say. 

Yep, we no longer need a sick bed in our house, but Elfi looked so absurdly cute perched up on it that I'm sharing some more photos of her on the sick bed. How could I not?