Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Game On Game: Ninjump

Ninjump is a quick and simple smart phone game where you have to get as high up a wall as possible. With games like this I always wonder, how high can you go? Does the game ever run out or do they make some algorithm where it lasts for ever? I guess you want good value for your 99 cents, but do you get good life value if you’re playing the game enough to get that good? It is a handy little standby game when you have a spare 10 minutes and you have already grown bored of the email/facebook/twitter check but isn't as addictive as Angry Birds. I know they wont be making a Ninjump film any times soon!

Cost: .99c download
How long till you get the hang of it: 3 goes
Play it when: You’re on public transport or stuck in a waiting room
Platform: iPhone and Android
IQ Improvement: -5
Addictiveness: Medium
Honeymoon is over: When the headache starts from the moving screen

Monday, May 30, 2011

Post MARKit wrap

Yesterday was MARKit at Fed Square and it seemed all of Melbourne was out and about. A few times as I looked out from my stall it felt like a river of people streaming by. I had lovely spot next to Me and Amber (yes I did get another cushion!) over one of those heated wooden grates in the Atrium. I also had my Mum helping me for most of the day doing things like dashing off to get change, dashing off to get more change, getting lunch and cups of tea as well as some birthday present hunting. Her take on the market was "wow Anna, there is some really amazing stuff here, really lovely well designed products" and I think she was right. The whole day went really smoothly and I didn't even feel tired afterwards thanks to the three cups of tea and warm snuggy feet. Gareth and I got home (through some crazy busy Sunday afternoon traffic) and spent the night in very good company with some beer, curry and board games. The next MARKit date is Sunday 27th of November and although that feels like yonkers away it will be here before you know it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Off they go

Living in an isolated country like Australia I think everyone had experienced a good friend or family going to live on the other side of the world. I did it to my family when I was 17 years old and let's not mention Gareth's trip to Australia back in 2002 because that might be the longest 'holiday' anyone has ever been on.

Taking someone out to Tullamarine is almost a bit of a ritual, the awkward hanging around, the trying not to cry when saying goodbye, the looking at the duty free and pretending to be interested, the pang that you should be going overseas and finally the shock of paying $30 for an hour or so of parking. We can only hope they will send us a postcard, but speaking from experience you always write the postcard out then never get the stamps to send it.

Our new card is listed on Etsy and will also be available at our weekend markets:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Exhibition - Ears: Head Space

Gareth and I went to the opening of Ears 'Head Space' exhibition at No Vacancy Project Space at Federation Square last week. It was a cold night and by the time we rocked up there wasn't any booze left but there was some pretty amazing art on display. You can view some of the artworks from the exhibition on his website here, my favourite was Zoo Rock and the one from the postcard I've stuck up on my wall in the photo above. As I've said many times I was a bit of a Brett Whiteley Fan Girl as a teenager, so anything remotely Whiteleyesque gets my tick of approval.

The exhibitions runs till this Sunday and the gallery is situated right in front of where our Markit stall will be, so come and have a look on Sunday and then say hello to us at Markit. I think Fed Square will be buzzing with arty goodness on Sunday as there is also the NGV's 150th Birthday Celebrations happening. So put on your prettiest winter coat and scarf and head into the city for some arty love!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Roller Derby: Your next night out

A few weeks ago we took part in a market stall at the second bout for the Victorian Roller Derby League. I went along with my family to a bout over a year ago and decided that Dead Ringer Rosies were my team as they had a player called Skate Bush. Turns out Skate Bush is a pretty amazing jammer so I think I picked the right team.

I have to admit to doing a stall holder naughty and leaving my stall to watch some of the bout, but it was worth it. I'm not sure how big the crowd was, but the noise from all the cheering was really loud, I think my ears hurt more than it did at the Anzac day match almost a month back and there was about 88000 more people at the MCG. Although I do like going to watch AFL matches I do find some of the AFL culture isn't my cup of tea, however rollerderby is. The people are super lovely and it seems really supportive and friendly.

If you have not been and think you want to go, the next bout is Saturday 4th of June. You can get tickets at Moshtix and it is located at the Melbourne Show Grounds. We will also be there selling cards and doing a double whammy market day, firstly at Sisters Market in Brunswick from 10am - 4pm, then hotfooting it over to Ascot Vale for the Derby from 4.30pm - 9.30pm. Hopefully we see you there!

Here are my tips on how to make it a fun night.

1. I'm guessing in a few weeks it will be even more chilly than now, so take warm clothing, or a blankie. They have seats around the track or you can sit up close to the action on the ground. If you want to sit on the ground take a cushion as the concrete will hurt your botty.

2. Maybe have a read up on how the derby goes down beforehand so you're not confused on the night. They give a demo at the start but if you're a bit late you might miss it. Also make sure you get a programme (gold coin donation) as it has pics of all the players and some info on how the bouts work.

3. Bring a few friends, although I am sure if you go on your own you would still have a good time or even meet some ace people. In fact if you're alone come say hi to me and we can have a chat.

4. If Jerry's Vegiburgers has a stand get the vego tofu noodle salad thing shown below because it is super yum. They also have a big deep fried food van selling yellow corned dogs and the like, but they are a bit scary. Get the noodle salad. Best $10 you will spend on food in a while.

5. Get some drink into you! They sell Carlton Draught cans which my brother is modelling in this photo below (MEGAHAND!). He had a few and left his phone at my stall while he went to buy food from the deep fried van. BIG MISTAKE! I updated his facebook status with "I'm having fun, Carlton Draught told me I could" which may have been one of the highlights of my night as I was not partaking in the Carlton Canz due to driving home later.

6. Get your celeb spotting glasses on because there is always someone kinda famous there. Sure they might be on an ad for insurance but that doesn't stop people getting all excited and yelling out his name.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Birthday Bonanza

Last month we had a newsletter competition and we asked what type of card do you most use. It seems birthday was the clear winner and we started adding more birthday cards to our range. When it comes to designing cards I seems to always gravitate towards the romantic ones. I don't know why, I think because I love drawing the dorky loved up guys. Over the last few weeks I have been thinking hard about birthdays and how to turn everything into birthday related cards. Once you get thinking about it everything becomes a "can this become a card" situation.

I drew this girl and I thought she looked a little too cool for school. She was probably born on a leap year so she only celebrates her birthday once every four years. Beat that! When we listed it on Etsy we went out later that night and when checked our email someone had purchased one. When this happens it always makes me happy. Gareth and I usually high five one another then say BEERS FOR ALL! and have happy face for the rest of the night. The beers possibly help with the happy face but the card selling takes most of the credit.

She is on Etsy if you want to impress your friends with her total disregard for anything remotely mainstream. She would not approve of our happy beer face that is for sure.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MARKit @ Fed Square: Sunday 29th May

We are super excited about participating in MARKit in just over a weeks time, have you seen the lineup, it is pretty amazing! Our stall is also right in front of a place that sells beer, so I'm sure I will be drinking all my profits.

One of the nice things about doing a market is the shopping and having a chat to the people who make the goods. I always like to have a run around just before the market starts and have a look at what I want to buy and hope by the end of the day it is not sold out. If you have ever been to our market stalls and I've not been there, rest assured I'm probably doing something very important, like spending up my carni cash. Here are some of the things on my MARKit wish list so far:

I got one of Madz Has Runaway's brooches late last year to wear on my coat in Scotland, so I think this necklace would be a welcome addition. I don't wear much jewellery, but nice necklaces like this are my one weakness!

This weekend we are getting our new couch and it a rather special occasion for two reasons. Firstly it is the first couch that isn't second hand or a hand me down and secondly, we have been waiting four weeks without one and have been makedoing with camp chairs. Sure it was a novelty at first, but now I'm just sick of them. We already have one Me and Amber cushion, so another would be a gift to myself for waiting four weeks without a couch.

I've discovered nice chopping boards are a bit of a must have in the kitchen. We have some thin plastic ones that seemed like a good idea at the time, but they now curl up so chopping on them is a nightmare. This Ute one has been on my wish list for about two years and I keep kicking myself that I've never got one. I think the Ute stand is opposite us at MARKit so I am sure looking at them all day will mean I'll walk away with one.

Now while I'm at MARKit, Gareth will be up the road at Rose Street Market and probably thinking he wants a nice present just for being him. Seeing it will be his six month birthday a couple of days beforehand (does anyone actually celebrate these??) it wont hurt to get him something nice. Gareth has some A Skulk of Foxes cuff links that he is pretty much in love with, so I am sure this t-shirt will be welcomed with open arms into his wardrobe.

What about you, what are your favourite market purchases?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cards we will never make

So this morning we were reading the news story about an Australian singer holding hands (how very Lennon/McCartney!) with a rather young and famous musician from the US. Although this friendship is totally legit it got us thinking about those celebrity relationships that are obviously created by a publicist and a few vodka martinis to help boost their clients star power. I would love to listen into a power deal between two publicists when organising such a union and I hope they say things to each other like:

"let's set off this love juggernaut into space and watch our stars twinkle"

"She must get spotted buying groceries. Specifically the ones he endorses, a budget mouthwash and orange juice concentrate"

"It's going to be the hottest romance of the week, maybe even month"

"She can touch his the palm of his hand and his wrists, but not the back of his hand, his face and specifically not his hair"

"If we can capture the scent of the X factor romance they have we can sell it as a perfume called romatickles"

Monday, May 16, 2011

21st Birthdays

It was a long time ago that I celebrated my 21st Birthday. It was a very low key affair compared to most, a house party in Ballarat with the guest of honour being my 15 year old brother. We called him Birrell (after the non alcoholic beer) but he drunk his body weight in Fruity Lexia that night. The speeches were made on a single bed in our lounge room and I think I spilt my wine all over the bed while standing up on the bedhead most likely screeching non sensicles to a bemused audience. Now I understand why my parents left around 8pm leaving a cask of wine and a hope that my sharehouse would remain upright. Thank god we didn't decide to do a goon yard glass. That would have been a disaster!

This card is now available on Etsy. DO NOT suggest a goon yard glass if giving this card to someone, you know what kids are like these days. Exactly what we were like at 21.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Old Sketchbooks

Here are some images of some of my sketchbooks from university. This sketchbook was called the magical utility sketchbook and I found it in the art supply shop at uni. Despite it being the cost of my weekly food budget, the bright yellow cover sucked me in and it was mine. I'm not sure why I thought it was magical, but I have written that on the cover, although with an odd drawing of a banana.

The first image is a drawing I did when I was in South Africa in 2002. I was on a camp/retreat north of Cape Town. It was a bit of an arty farty retreat where we slept in tents and spent the days drawing and talking about life and stuff. A little dog followed me around the day I spent drawing and I decided to call it shadow. I realised after spending the day with her the best type of dogs are the ones that look and act like cats.

The second image was just some random drawings that I think look a wee bit Able and Gamesque which is funny to look back on and see little ideas and drawing that were perhaps little seeds waiting to germinate.

The third was done on our boat holiday in Gippsland, I think that is my Mum sitting at the table and the date is the 4th of January 2002. Just after I finished University and was living at home and about to start work in a vegetable packing factory. One of the more glamorous times of my life!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Farm Life Part Two

I arrived back in Melbourne today from my little trip back to the family farm. It has been a busy start to the year after coming back from Scotland as we seemed to go straight from Valentine's Day into the Trade Show and then Mother's Day as well as all our markets. To add to this we also had the stress of buying our first home and shifting both house and office. I'm grateful the process is over because our weekly dealings with estate agents and researching properties was wearing thin. Everything is finally falling into place so a nice few days away with my parents looking after me was just what I needed to start fresh after all the big changes.

Yesterday I had the day to myself and went on a lovely long walk down to the lake. I like walking on my own but at one point in some long grass by the lake I realised if I found a snake I could be in trouble. I once had an encounter with a tiger snake when I was about four or five in the old tree stump in the bottom right hand photo above. The lake has risen a lot since the mid '80s and the hollow stump was just on the waters edge. I was playing inside as a baby tiger snake slid past by head, which didn't scare me as much as it did my Mum when I told her, and my Dad when he found the little thing! Lucky for me there were no snakes around yesterday despite it being super sunny and warm. I think this time I would have been pretty scared if I found one.

I took a little video of the pig and goat just so you can see how funny the pig is. The goat looks pretty nonplussed about everything but he is also super cute and loves being fed grass and scratched behind his ears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farm Life

Look at this little odd couple! I'm back on the family farm on the Gippsland Lakes and got to meet little piggy, the new addition to my Mum's pet collection. She has had the Goat for a few years and little Piggy arrived at Christmas time. My brother had to buy a gift for my Mum and he asked me for advice on what to buy her. I told him something really nice that she wouldn't normally buy for herself and for some reason he thought a pig fitted this description. As Gareth and I were in Scotland for Christmas we didn't get to see the presentation of the pig, which would have been worth it for the look on my Dad's face. A mixture of WTF and LOL-OMG!

Having spend no time around pigs I have to say they are totally crazy. The little thing doesn't do cute oinky noises but screams and squeals with such ferociousness you would think she had never been fed. Goatie is not a fan of little pig girl, he gets a bit heatbutty with her when she gets too loud and comes too close which is basically all the time. I don't think Moreland Council or the people in our apartment building would like it if we got a pig and a goat as a pet, but we can dream can't we?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Look what we did two years ago

I made this little video two years ago to show one of our cards being made and I thought it might be nice to put it back up on the blog again. If you're thinking wow this music is pretty freaking amazing then you would be correct. If you want more info on Ben Shaw you can go to his website.

We still have our Dad Chose Well card available on Etsy and we will be at the following markets in Melbourne this weekend:

7th May

11am - 5pm
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy


Victoria Roller Derby League

When: 4.30pm - 9.30pm
Where: Melbourne Showgrounds
Grand Pavilion  Epsom Road, Ascot Vale
Tickets available through Moshtix  

Sunday 8th May (Mother's Day!)

11am - 5pm
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Ode To TV Mothers - Lucille Bluth

I think Lucille from Arrested Development is one of my favourite TV mothers because any mother will look good next to her. There are not many scenes of her on the internet, but if you've not seen the series I'm sure you could easily find a friend with a copy you can borrow. And with the movie rumoured to be in the works now is the best time to invest in learning some of Lucille's unique parenting skills.

When I thought of the card her children (not including Buster) would give her I thought this one below fitted the bill. I can't imagine her ever actually cooking a meal so they might buy this one to make her feel a little guilty. Although if you watch the hot ham water that Lindsay cooks it doesn't look like the apple fell far from the tree.