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Hi There.

Hi. Hi there.

I hope you don’t think I’ve forgotten about you. In fact, I give you quite a bit of consideration. You’re even causing me a wee bit of anxiety.

I feel bad running off and not calling. I feel bad promising something and not delivering (i.e. a giveaway).

BUT.

The last few stressful months had me re-evaluating why I abandoned you. I think it was feeling a bit ashamed of myself. I was using a promise of free things to try and get comments (gasp!) which feels a bit mean, like I didn’t value you for you, and just wanted to use you to boost my ego. This is not a good thing.

I didn’t want to do a giveaway to reward my (mostly silent) readers, but to force comments out of them.

So for that, I’m sorry.

I think I’ve outgrown you. We had a good year together, but I want a clean slate, a fresh start.

I want a blog mainly about the creative things I do, rather than mostly reflecting on the creative things other people do.

You’ll always have a special place in my heart. There’s a Service Station in there, pumping everyone full of Purple Custard.

But I’m moving on to the much more serious sounding:

http://lisettecharlotte.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

IT’S A BOMB!!

More specifically… a YARN bomb!

The peeps responsible for this work of unexpected beauty are the Twilight Taggers, a yarn bombing group working guerilla style to pretty up our city.

They’re doing an installation at Fed Square for International Yarn Bombing Day and the Lights in Winter festival in June that both YOU and ME can be a part of! How fun! I’m going to Riot Art this afternoon to get some wool to contribute.

You can help with the frame, the poles, the lanterns or the snowflakes here. They also need wool winders for all their free wool!

Here’s a picture of the chandelier:

This is going to be so cool. How awesome would it feel to point at a part of this massive structure and say “hey, I did that!” (and even if you can’t find your bit you can point at someone else’s and say that was yours. They’ll never know the difference!).

So off you trot. Go grab those knitting needles!

I love Gary Larson. Every year for a few years we got mum a The Far Side diary and I’d love going through the months and seeing animals acting a bit odd.

I wuz bad…

Oh so busy! But that doesn’t mean I should neglect you, dear reader.

Many apologies. Please accept this Lolcat to prove my sincerity.

My predicament:

“Doctor, what ever is the matter?

The days seem to be zooming past with rapid speed, yet nothing is getting done!

No blog posts, uni work is at a minimum (as is attendance), exercise and good eating have gone the way of the wooly mammoth (ie extinct) and I haven’t even been going out that much and making a drunk fool of myself!”

“Hmm, child, I think the problem is your obsession with the book, you are a bibliophile!

Ah, stereotypes. You serve me well.

But I do believe it’s my current increase in buying books online that’s responsible for my lack of productivity.

So far, since February, I’ve read over 20 new books. This number doesn’t include books I’ve been re-reading, or ones I’ve read for uni. At the moment, I’m a quarter into Mr. Rosenblum’s List by Natasha Solomons, halfway through Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and 3/4 of the way through The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. Not to mention finishing V for Vendetta and the second Sara Donati book in the Into the Wilderness series while I was in the middle of reading the first two.

The pictures are all linked to their sources; I chose them based on the similarity to the covers that I own, but have a click on some links… some take you to pages where you can buy, some to blogs and some have great reviews.

Jeez, just listing these books is making me exhausted.

There are more but I can’t remember them… these were the particularly page turning ones, sort of in the order that I read them.

I think I need to go on a book hiatus… or at least manage the amount of time I spend with my nose in a book. While reading more fiction is definitely improving my vocabulary and is probably helping my writing, spending ENTIRE DAYS reading may be taking it a bit far. I’m 1 month off finishing this semester and I have long-term art assignments that haven’t even been started.

So I’m going to allot an hour a day to reading.

  • This can be extended to an hour and a half if at least half an hour is spent on the bike/ treadmill.
  • I can also read on public transport on the way to uni/ work ONLY if I don’t have uni readings to do. Then I have to do them on the tram.

Instead of reading I will do these things. If you are bored, or a bibliophile like me, maybe you should think about doing one of these things too:

  • Do 2 or more drawings for my art subject (or your art subject, if you have one!)
  • Play piano. Learn something new! Everything’s getting boring.
  • Paint something. Preferably a canvas. Or the wall. There are a hundred million ideas that have yet to be executed!
  • Write something. Short story, long story. Essay. Uni assignment. Blog post.
  • Plan a holiday, or in my case, overseas exchange.
  • Do some stash busting, or organize said stash.
  • Organize room. By organize, I mean clean.
  • Go through the wardrobe and do some refashioning on old pieces. Maybe make something new! Start on all those patterns that are sitting around getting moldy… ok, if there’s mold, maybe complete above THEN make something new.
  • Learn a new crochet/ knitting stitch and start a new project, or continue along an old project.
  • Visit someone for tea and bring biscuits!
  • Walk in the park or around the neighborhood and take some pretty snaps.
  • Make breakfast/ lunch/ dinner/ dessert etc. but try something new, or hard, or unusual. Play Surprise Chef and only use the things in the fridge and pantry. Don’t forget to talk to the camera.
  • Organize a party! Even a small dinner party. But do it in style; hand-made invitations, menu lists, individual cocktails, frocks, and your mum’s best china.
  • Look around for a class or new activity or group to be a part of. Drawing Straws at Burlesque Bar is taking up my Thursday evenings (along with a very time-consuming interview process for a feature article due tomorrow. So far I’ve interviewed 7 people, I think my tutor was only expecting around 4!). I would love to attend Brown Owls events but for the night they insist on holding it. Grr. Getting new knowledge from as many places as possible is such a great thing to do, having a new skill to hone and practice will take up some of that reading time.
  • Make lists… places you want to go, people you need to catch up with, restaurants and their famous this or that which you need to try. Even book lists… though this might take more time to finish ticking off now that you have so much else to do!
  • Make a card or gift for whoever’s birthday is next in advance. Woah, organization!

Finally…

  • Exercise. Bleurgh. My list is definitely coming to a close if I’ve resorted to exercise!

So there. Lots of things to do before I get to curl up with a book on the couch.

I hope this super long post has made up for the days of neglect… with my new system in place, I PROMISE it will never happen again!

P.s. This post is number 96. When we get to number 100 I’ll be doing a giveaway. How excitement!

Borders lament

Oh, Borders Camberwell,

When you first opened up my heart did swell.

But now you’re shutting down,

And this makes me frown,

Now where do I waste time when I’m at that end of town?

.

Squishy couches, no more,

on which to lay down and snore.

Angus & Robinson ‘hoorayed!’

The violin played*,

As their nemesis went into receivership and caved.

.

Despite 20% off or 3 for 2,

The online booksellers outdid you.

The hordes came to spend,

To say farewell near the end,

But then thought, ‘I’ll get this cheaper online instead’.

*there was actually a guy with a violin across the road. I thought it quite appropriate.

Beauty vs. Beastly

I read both of these in quick succession and now… which one is better?

Well, Robin McKinley’s Beauty is quite fun. I loved the description of the family, how they are developed characters rather than cardboard cutouts. Beauty’s sisters, Grace and Hope, have romantic struggles of their own despite their good looks and charms, but are both as generous as Beauty herself.

The character of Beauty, from whose perspective the story is told, severely dislikes the nickname as she’s quite bookish and plain, but becomes more confident as they move to the country. Towards the end of the book, Beauty discovers that she has suddenly become tall and gorgeous, something that didn’t sit entirely right with me. Something a bit more subtle rather than outright magic may have been a more positive message to girls bookish and plain everywhere.

I found the Beast in this version a bit passive; he talks about how he can’t control himself and all that, but he’s never a very threatening character, and the flowery ending was probably a bit too Disney. Actually, it was more flowery than the Disney version, even if the Beast is greying. The procession of villagers towards the no-longer-enchanted castle seemed a bit camp. But there are some beautifully written passages within the book that give it a slightly darker, more gothic/romance feel, when Beauty is lost in the woods, or when she swoons and awakens clinging to the Beast in his arms.

Beastly, by Alex Finn, set in contemporary New York, was a more personable narrative. The main character, Kyle, reads like a Gossip Girl character. Pretty, popular, rich, influential, arrogant and cruel. Finn should probably have called him Chuck…

When a witch curses him for a petty prank he plays, Kyle is forced by his very rich and famous father to live in Brooklyn with a blind man as a tutor. Beauty, or “Lindy”, is a rednut with bad teeth and a junkie father that Alex watches through his fantastical mirror.

Kyle is quite a likeable character, and this novel shows the transition from dick (who knows he’s being one) to slightly pathetic but ultimately unselfish. He’s a much more convincing character than McKinley’s Beast, although that might be because we get to hear the story from his side. Lindy doesn’t get any more beautiful, but it doesn’t seem to matter much.

The only bits that irked me were the superfluous chat room scenes. Totally unnecessary with annoying “teen talk” that is very obviously written by an adult. I have a massive dislike of very current slang and MSN style chat in books; I refuse to read Lauren Kate anymore because one of her characters used the term BTDubs. Bleurghh.

But all in all, I think it’s Beastly that won for me.

 

Gabrielle in Wonderland


I did this etching of my friend, Gabby, in year 12 art. It was one of my final pieces. Looking at it now, she kind of reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. They are both little and blond.

It is, as I said, an etching on watercolour paper + watercolour paint. I soaked the pages in water and painted on the colour with a broad brush. I tried not to think too much about shape or figure when I painted it, and matched each etching to each piece after it dried by what felt right. Then I ran it through the printing press.

These etchings were so easy to do; I used acetate and a sharp linocutting tool, a process called drypoint. The awesome thing about drypoint on acetate is you can sticky tape a photo underneath and trace the lines, shading in dark spots. Is that cheating? Maybe… who cares when the results are this good!

The only thing with this process is you probably need a proper printing press. When you’re ready to print, you slather the page in this thick block printing ink with a spatula-like surface, making sure you cover all the lines. Then, using paper towel, you scrub the ink away until there’s none on the space around the figures, and no excess in the lines. Place it (carefully, carefully!) on the paper, sandwich it with two more pieces of paper, and run it through the press. I’m not sure if you could do the same thing with a kitchen dough roller, the page might move around too much.

If I redid these, I would crosshatch in the shadows. Otherwise, I still think they’re pretty lovely (most of my artworks don’t stand the test of time; I start thinking they’re shit a few weeks after completion).

There was some sort of order. And I’m missing one of just Christopher (that’s the boy).

 

 

 

The last is my favourite… back down the rabbit hole.