Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life Instyle

It's coming up to that time of year when we get Trade Show Fever. Days get longer, lists are never ending and more tea gets drunk. Life Instyle starts on Thursday and if you have a shop it is the perfect place to visit to find some amazing products to stock. We started Life Instyle three years ago but each time we still get a bit nervous about things like new products and how our stand will look. I had my Dad help me build some display shelves and it is good inspiration for Father's Day coming up next month (let's pretend it's August today and not tomorrow). This card from a few years back and the drawing on it looks a bit like my Dad who was a fan of that late '70s big hair and beard look.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Taping Rage

When I was in high school I was semi obsessed with getting as many 4 hour VHS as I could hide in the Saturday supermarket shop trolley and taping Rage. I would hang out for the Green Guide on Thursday to find out who was hosting, then on Saturday night I would set the VCR timer and spend Sunday watching to see if I had something good on my hands. I still have about 10 of them, The Cure Special being a pick of the bunch. Still embracing old technology, we still own a functioning VCR so I watch them sometimes, usually drunk while trying to impress guests while Gareth tells me to bin them.

Rage is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and I caught a tiny bit of the 1987 – 1990 special on Saturday night. There are loads of songs that I still remember being favourites, one being Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real). I don't remember the original having the scenes of the people dancing at the disco, but they are great for the clothes and moves. I don't think you can have much more fun than dancing like a weirdo with your friends and all teenagers should to be exposed to the joy that is late '70s disco.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The world is just one big abstract painting

One of the things I love to do when flying is look out the window at the landscape below. It looks like the best abstract artworks ever created and I always feel the old camera doesn't do it justice. These ones below are from the recent trip to the USA but I don't really think it matters too much where you are. Even old Tullamarine offers some amazing view over the north and west of Melbourne.

If you are not flying anytime soon, you can still check out these abstract artworks on Google Earth, or the satellite view on Google Maps on the phone. I grabbed these images below from Google Maps in the US and there was so much amazingness. I love the mixture of nature (especially the rivers) and agriculture,  the variations in colour and the strange shapes that are created. With so many stunning compositions, I think you could fill every gallery in the world if you wanted.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

TV Mixed Up

I did this illustration a few months back for our newletter and thought I would share it on the blog. I love the idea of TV shows combining together. My favourite idea of all time is actual TV characters on a season of Survivor.

Also, I love lookalikes and found one while watching Nurse Jackie, her husband Kevin reminds me of creepy Glen Bishop from Mad Men (who is actually creator Matthew Weiner's Son in real life).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hotdog Links

Fellow Rose Streeter Neil Thomas stars in this lovely film portrait by Jeremy Beasley. Gareth has one of Neil's artworks above his desk and I got my Mum an "I Love Goats" badge a few years back, so it's nice to see his space so beautifully shot. Watch it and dream of a backyard saw.

When we were on our road trip we downloaded loads and loads of Podcasts to listen to as the local radio was a bit blergy and the signal wouldn't last long anyway. I had no idea what to look for when it came to Podcasts as I've never really got into them despite knowing I should. This episode of Comedy Bang Bang was one of my favourites and we listened to half on the way to the Grand Canyon and the other half on the way to Hoover Dam. It was made it even more special because we saw Bobby Moyniham (who plays Fourvil) in NYC at the Upright Citizens Brigade. He is a funny man and he keeps popping up on some of the TV shows we have been watching lately.

Next month is Craft Victoria's Craft Cubed festival and it is full of lots of amazing stuff. My pick is the open studios (hello sticky beaks) and the Craft and Design as a career talk on August 16th.

We did a Gift Guide over on the Finders Keepers blog. The theme is stationery and it features 6 of our top stationery picks including that ace drawing of Keyboard Cat by Luka Luka. I met her a few weeks back at Rose Street and totally fell in love with her drawings. There are also picks from other Melbourne lovelies including Write To Me and Truth Be Told.

Speaking of Jess from Truth Be Told, she is kicking serious goals with her custom wedding invites. If you're getting hitched and want something interesting, then check out what she is doing. I'm loving the last lot she did for Tash and Ed.

When I was in the USA Gareth and I popped into this little restaurant/diner in Memphis. We ended up having an early dinner there and for some foolish reason I got a hot dog. It was the worst thing in the world, too big, too cold and too tasteless. Poor old Gareth almost started crying because he felt so bad about my bad food decision. Post trip, despite the bad experience I've made another hot dog card. I think turning them into people make me laugh, at least it's better than this kind of treatment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kitty Cats Cards

A few months ago I decided a fun Tumblr blog to create would be called Cats on Film. Anytime I saw a cat on TV I would stop whatever I was watching, take a photo of the TV (nothing fancy) and then upload it with the title and what time said cat appeared. I soon discovered how busy I would be as I saw a white cat in the film The Fifth Element and Jane got a fluffy white cat in an episode of Happy Endings.

A few months back we did a little interview for Everguide about the Brisbane Finders Keepers. They asked what my favourite piece was and this was my answer:
I think I like anything cat related. As a life-long member of the crazy cat club it's nice to see cats finally get some recognition as supreme leaders of the internet. Move over porn, your time is over.

I had forgotten about the interview so when I saw it I was like oh dear I wrote that? Speaking of cat cards, we have some new note cards, fresh in the shop in packs of five and packs of 20.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breakfast Champions

Breakfast is one of those meals I'm super picky about and often avoid because of being such a fussy fuss pot. I don't like cereal much, my rules with toast are rather long* and I can often get stuck in a no-longer-work-at-home-but-wish-I-did morning vortex. So coming up with breakfast options is hard and frustrating so when I found this one (they do it at Rose Street Market) I decided it could be a keeper.

I was at the Queen Vic Market a few weeks back and got some ricotta from there and the guy said it should last about 5 days in the fridge, so perfect for the working week as do the bananas and fruit toast (I got Burgen from the supermarket, it more solid and dense than the normal stuff). So you can get yourself sorted on a Monday and be ready for the next five days, good for a disorganised lazybot like myself that needs things set up and ready to go. As for the Maple Syrup it's best to get the real stuff, it isn't as sugary and you don't need much. I used to loathe it when people would go on about the real stuff, that fake stuff seemed fine to me but I've firmly set up camp with the CAMP stuff.

If you try the recipe out let me know how you go and if you have any adaptation ideas, I've not written it out a recipe as it's just a case of cooking toast and plonking on banana, ricotta and maple. If you have any good breakfast suggestions please send them my way, I want to wage a war on shoddy soggy cereal, that stuff is the worst.

*toast rules:
  • baked beans can only go on multi grain toast
  • marmalade must be on white toast
  • Vegemite must be on white toast
  • eggs and bacon can go with any toast
  • avocado can go with any toast but sourdough is best
  • canned spaghetti can only be on the cheapest white loaf (trash breakfast)
  • bacon sarnies must be on plain white untoasted bread with white pepper (Gareth's rule)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Six Packs

We have some six packs of cards in the Etsy shop in three different varieties. There is the fashion cats, the beautiful birds and the birthday aliens. They come packaged together with a matching envelope for each card.

Speaking of six packs....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Melbourne Design Market

Melbourne Design Market is on again in a few weeks time. You know the one at Fed Square where you learn the very important skill of walking through crowds of people. Come say hello or just stare at me and wonder in amazement as I add up numbers in my head without a calculator (trick: Sometimes if I can't add it up quickly enough I'll add it up to what I think it is minus a few bucks so you end up getting an I can't add up quickly discount).

Due to the location being a concrete car park it gives you a good excuse to pretend you live in a post apocalyptic world where car parks are the new shopping centres. Your home is an old water tank in West Brunswick under the freeway and you spend your days fending off the animals that escaped from the Melbourne Zoo.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Revolver Red Wine

If you go to Revolver Upstairs in Prahran right now you will see my artwork along side a few Banksy works (his stuff is behind glass, mine is not FYI). Lucie asked me to do an artwork months and months ago and I kept thinking I had ages and ages to do it. Then after the trip I realised I had days. As I keep telling/kidding myself, working with a crazy deadline is a bit of a creative thrill ride.

I decided to draw a bunch of wine drinkers in ink as a little homage to red wine and winter. The artwork is HUGE, a few meters by a few meter and my photoshop had a hard time dealing with the first file I started. If you're in the area pop on by, they have good food big couches, free sega games and I'm sure some memories of nights out from the past.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hey Brisbane...

Hey Brisbane, what are you doing this weekend? We are flying up tomorrow to do Finders Keepers Market on the weekend. All the details are over at the Finders Keepers website. There are loads of lovely Melbourne people who will also be there, enjoying some warm weather. It really feels like a European winter here in Melbourne and I think this is due to being in a warm climate when the Autumn into Winter transition happened. I think it is the way the sky sits really low and everything has this coldness to it, especially the inside of your chest when you're riding home at 7.30pm. But Brisbane, it's t-shirt weather in Brisbane!

I just realised this is that blog post where I mostly talk about the weather. I think they warn you about writing that blog post.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


One of the things I found really interesting about travelling across the US was the signs they used for different businesses. My favourites were the older ones from the '50s and '60s, often for run down or even abandoned motels that were falling apart but had this old style charm that modern signs often lack.

A street in Albuquerque had around 15 or so of them and I tried to photograph them as we drove along also spotting a few buildings from the show Breaking Bad. When we got back I set about designing some new cards based on the signs. If we could incorporate LED/Neon lights into our cards you know we would be onto that in a flash (pun not intended). Epson, when are you going to make a printer that does that? We have three cards so far, for a birthday, baby and thank you and will be adding more to the range, so if you have a suggestion please let us know.

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Able and Game advert

Back in March we got an email from Jasmine, a third year film and television student from Swinburne who wanted to create a commercial for us for one of her projects. I think we got the email on a Sunday night and when Gareth and I saw each other we were both really excited, asking if we had both read that email.

We met up with Jasmine and spoke about lots of different ways we could turn our cards into a story for a commercial and somehow the I touched a cat and I liked it card got mentioned. It was great fun brainstorming ideas and thinking about our product in a completely different context and Jasmine had some interesting 'outsider perspective' ideas we probably wouldn't have thought of. After our chat Jasmine went off and came up with a script, then set about finding some actors to cast. We got a few sneak peeks and I was really getting excited about seeing the final product and about a week before it was finished I was thinking about it a lot. Jasmine came around the day before we went on our trip (high priority before we left) with the DVD to watch it and we both decided it was the best thing ever.

Jasmine told us that on the day of filming it was super hot but David had to wear the woollen jumper (I'm sure I've drawn something similar before, the outfit was very Able and Game). Pepe the cat didn't come from this lady, but is in fact Jasmine's cat. The last shot of David and Pepe took a few takes to try and get Pepe in the actual shot. Turns out the old adage don't work with kids and animals might be true.

Jasmine was also a total sweetheart and got us a present to say thank you, which was completely unnecessary but totally perfect for the office: