Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Peppery Sparrow is undergoing a little facelift... she'll be back soon!

Monday, 7 May 2012

William Eggleston

Thoroughly enjoyed this easy to read essay on William Eggleston, the man behind the 'Democratic Camera'. Here's a snippet;

In an attempt to summarize the basic philosophy behind The Democratic Forest, William Eggleston once stated, ‘I had this notion of what I called a democratic way of looking around: that nothing was more important or less important.’  As the recent retrospective at the Whitney, ‘William Eggleston: Democratic Camera – Photographs and Video, 1961-2008’, attests, such a perspective was not intended as a particularly rebellious or directly political attack on established hierarchies (after all, this is a gentleman who, despite his hell-raiser reputation, takes great pride in the fact that he has never owned a pair of blue jeans).  Instead, Eggleston’s ‘democratic’ outlook is a rather traditional and thoroughly romantic understanding of the artist as, quite literally, a visionary, who can summon something out of nothing, or conversely, distil a fundamental essence from the chaos of everything.  Over the course of nearly fifty years, Eggleston has shown that through the medium of photography, time, light, the physical world, and most famously color can be composed in such a way that it not only mesmerizes an audience visually, but also affects each individual emotionally, often in a profoundly subtle, primal and breathtaking manner. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

101 Cookbooks

After 3 wins in the kitchen this wintery public holiday (ok only 2.5, the broccoli soup is still on the stove), I've been inspired to rediscover my cooking mojo. 

Every day at my desk attempting to solve the ongoing quandary that is working out my next career step, I take a quick break to look outside the window where our pomegranate tree sits. Today, completing said daily daydreaming ritual (whereby I invent something so great that I make millions in royalties thus never having to work again), I Googled 'pomegranate recipes' which lead me to 101 Cookbooks. What a site for the culinary kings and queens out there! Its pretty damn aesthetically pleasing too. 

With this blog safely bookmarked and living just a stone's throw from Blackhearts & Sparrows Wine Purveyors, I guess my winter nights are sorted.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Rhi Ellis

There's a hell of a lot of photographers out there, and with digital cameras plus the web, contemporary photography is much more accessible than it used to be. Like any art, photography is subjective. However its still a challenge to find an artistic photographer that makes you stop and look through their whole folio. Rhi Ellis is one of them, for me, anyway. Found via Miss Moss.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Interior Vouyerism for the Men.

I'm quite guilty of posting interiors that only I like. I'll pay you that if you thought it. In my defense (a line I've heard before!), I have considered how a male delegates the intricacies of moving in with a design-focused lass. Poor Stu has to deal with this and we don't even live with eachother. He deals with my constant questioning of his home's interior design. E.g.'I think you should put that over there' and 'what is that?' and 'I tidied up the cushions'.

I'm yet to solve that quandry, the one that is when the female and the male must collaborate their interior desires, but in the meantime let me showcase some drool-worthy bachelor pads via Frankie via Slanted Mansion.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Open your eyes and see the beauty.

There's something to be said about art on the walls of your home. Its creating talking points, inspires, adds colour and happiness to any room. One day I'll have a home of my own covered in pictures.

I'm not one to put my own art up on the walls, I think it makes me a little uncomfortable, so instead I've spent hours, days, week, months and even years perusing op-shops, eBay, small galleries and friend's folios looking for new pics to adorn my walls with. I'm pretty proud of my growing collection.

Recently I had the delight (where is that sarcasm font when you need it) of scouring Gumtree for share properties to move into. Being the particularly fussy person I am, one thing that put me off most places was the lack of eye candy in the common rooms. As superficial as it sounds, I need to be surrounded by attractive objects and colour in order to feel comfortable and inspired. These are the things that I believe make a home - a house that displays the personality of its inhabitants.

So finding an awesome Eames sideboard for $0.99 might be one for the old hats, but surely a few pictures on the wall can't be that hard?

The problem that a lot of people struggle with is the notion that you have to spend big bucks for a good pic. But thanks to advances in the world of print production (re: mass production) and the interwebs, you can find gorgeous images by artists across the world at affordable prices.

From there, you don't need to spend the hundreds of dollars you saved on getting them framed professionally, simply go to an op-shop and buy an old print you don't like but comes with a cute antique frame, invest in some mountboard, a good stanley knife or scalpel & a cutting mat. Can't be bothered with that? Check out Ikea and $2 shops for cheap frames and stick to simple colours like dark brown, white or black.

To get you started (should you accept this challenge) I've post a selection from Urban Outfitters' print shop.

A Vintage Isotype

Give me a number and I'm sure to turn it around and upside down. I'm definitely more a words and pictures kinda gal. Stating the obvious? Probably.

This morning I was reminded just how much I appreciate a classic isotype chart by Brainpickings. Pictures? Animals? Vintage? I'm in heaven.

Friday, 23 March 2012

In the summertime.

Smith St 002 Smith St 001

In the summertime when the weather is high, you can chase right up and touch the sky. But not so much in Melbourne anymore, Mungo Jerry. Its hard to believe that just earlier this week I took these photos on Collingwood to test the light, and now I'm drinking coffee and avoiding the outdoors to stay warm. And so we welcome Autumn, yet again in chilly Melbourne. I think its time to finally get around to making some Mulled Wine.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The 100% Perfect Girl

On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning.

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo's fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she's not that good-looking. She doesn't stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn't young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a "girl," properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She's the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there's a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you're drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I'll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can't recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It's weird.

"Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl," I tell someone.

"Yeah?" he says. "Good-looking?"

"Not really."

"Your favorite type, then?"

"I don't know. I can't seem to remember anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts."


"Yeah. Strange."

"So anyhow," he says, already bored, "what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?"

"Nah. Just passed her on the street."

She's walking east to west, and I west to east. It's a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I'd really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we'd have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

"Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?"

Ridiculous. I'd sound like an insurance salesman.

"Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?"

No, this is just as ridiculous. I'm not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who's going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. "Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me."

No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She's lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started "Once upon a time" and ended "A sad story, don't you think?"

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you're the 100% perfect girl for me."

"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one's dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, "Let's test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other's 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we'll marry then and there. What do you think?"

"Yes," she said, "that is exactly what we should do."

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season's terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don't you think?

Yes, that's it, that is what I should have said to her.
- Haruki Murakami

'How to be Cool' by Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg

I've been a little on the busy side ... and sans my baby (iMac), so the blog has experienced yet another hiatus from its scattered owner. I'll be back on track soon, but in the meantime let me leave you with a little tutorial on how to be cool by Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Selby Archives

Friday night with cheese & crackers, a can of James Boags and a sift through The Selby archives. If there is one thing that Stu has learnt about me, it is that I am a voyeur from way back. You wouldn't want to be in a hurry and walking down the street with me at nighttime when I can peer best into the homes of the creative North of the Yarra types! I'm a freak, I know.

Above are some of my faves. The last house is here in humble Richmond, and its true eye candy for the fellow organised-clutter obsessed.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Happy Birthday Nina Simone

'I think the rich will eventually have to cave in too, because the economic situation around the world is not gonna tolerate the United States being on top forever.'

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Star Crossed Lovers

There's no deep-seated meaning behind today's post but I did go down to the beach for a swim which always leaves me a little reflective.

Amongst the millions of thoughts running through my head this afternoon, I got thinking back to a comparative study I once wrote about the different depictions of Romeo & Juliet in film and theatre. One thing that they all have in common is we are left with some pretty stills (and one painting) for me to post on my blog. I'd love to see a modern day adaption, its was the 90's when Baz Luhrmann's hit the silver screen, that's now considered vintage and also an indication I really am no longer a spring chicken.