Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I've seen it all before ...

How often do you surf the web?

For your consideration... 

In just a few minutes of web surfing you can view hundreds (maybe even thousands)
of images, ideas, foods, faces, places, projects, products,  images, artworks, craft works, 
words, advertisements, complaints ... (head spinning as we speak)...... and let's not discount the exorbitant amount of piffle. At any given moment millions of people are interacting on a global scale  - watching, taking, using, creating, downloading, buying, selling.... you get the idea.

Recently I participated in a debate with a group (all female) of acquaintances regarding the internet and a number of issues that it presents. 

It began with privacy (or rather lack thereof) when it comes to social media and posting photos of your family, your children, your friends, their children, your art, your home, your location!

I'm sure you've seen those posts (on Facebook) warning you that your privacy is being
violated by (Facebooks') new terms and agreements - urging you to check your settings and change them to "espionage stealth status" so that your identity may only be revealed to those who already know who you are, where you live... even when you're home alone (tragic but true).

In a very spirited tone (I use that description in its' most demonic and poltergeist sense) we argued as to whether you had the right to demand rights or was the web a privilege to be grateful for and not challenged. Clearly I was the only person present at this debate who had studied philosophy for I was the only one happy to enter the realms of determinism, trees that fall in forests and chickens arriving before eggs. Many of my attempts to keep things friendly were loosely veiled in profound metaphysical suppositions that were usually met with blank stares annoyance and (often audible) grunts of disbelief. What can I say - I'm a pacifist. 

We debated (rather loudly I might add) as to the merits of keeping one's children out of the prying eyes of perverts whilst behind closed doors but not really having any control over whether or not they were being violated (not my word) on other forums - for example images taken of them by their friends and shared liberally. Everyone became quite passionate at this point but they seemed  - on the surface - to reach a unanimous conclusion: Our children needed to be protected from the absolute certainty that was the dangerous general public. (Oh and quite a few ladies were ignoring their children's cries for attention whilst ardently arguing to their rights as harmless (pffff) little beings... just saying) 

I was amazed at how opinionated people became over matters that they had no personal experience in. Sometimes I wonder whether people actually care that about the things that go wrong as much as they care about having an opinion regarding the things that go wrong.

We debated on the matter of etiquette when it came to posting photos of people without prior consent. Should you always ask? Even at family gatherings?  (one person said that she refused to having her photo taken much less shared on social media - yet she admitted that she looked at the photos of others without leaving comments or likes and would also post photos of others without showing them first - when asked if she thought this was rather unfair she said that she did not. Almost everyone disagreed with her but simultaneously admitted to having shared images without gaining formal approval first) Are we obliged to ask people whether they mind having their faces tagged & their lives shared via your daily post? Is it open slather if everyone's doing it? 

We touched on the rather sticky topic of what you should and should not share -  and how to tell people that their posts, images, tweets were distressing, distasteful, disparaging or (even worse) boring. Most agreed that you stopped following these offenders (or hid their timeline) whilst others suggested that it was best to let people know if they were "sh*t at all things social media" (not my quote... wish it was though)

We contended on the importance of teaching our children that ALL media forms have an agenda - usually money. Was it important to let them know this in order to empower them as further consumers devourers of the web? Do our kids even care as much about privacy as we do? 
Should we be teaching them about the importance of privacy?? (Ok... I'll admit that I threw that pigeon in amongst the cats... oops Freudian slip)

We debated on the matter of credit. The notion that when you take a photo of art (graffiti, public sculptures, buskers etc) are you always obliged to link the source? And what of your own ideas? If you were inspired by something you spotted on Design Sponge was it your duty to say so before you madly uploaded images of your mini kitchen reno?

Was it possible to be too anal? Too liberal? Are any ideas original? 

And what of all the posts, photos, competitions themselves? Is there anything original left to be said? 
Are we sick of slick shots of perfect cappuccinos and cake (guilty) or the flowers that decorated the table (guilty) or the funky decor (guilty) that clearly was not our idea and yet here we are receiving 47 likes for taking a photo of someone elses' styling genius (guilty!!) Or is this act of digital candour merely "sharing the biz love" (NOT my words) 

Is this a ridiculous waste of mental stress? Are we to accept that when they invented "screen shots" they destroyed copyright? And who is they??

Oh it was a colourful and enlightening debate (waste of an hour). I think some friendships are no longer on the same footing and perhaps a few Facebook pals are now unknowingly pissed off, shunned blocked. I left feeling that buzz you feel when you still have things to shout out self righteously say. More importantly I left realising that everything on the web was both unique and ordinary all at once. 

A sort of global school photo. When you squint and look closely you spot yourself but take a step back and you've seen it all before.

What are your thoughts people? 

Come on... speak freely! 


Aside - I'm well aware of the fact this post is fraught with strikethrough text, parenthesis and frightening grammatical errors... that was deliberate and I blame social media. :-) xx 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pinterest ... the pros and cons

To pin or not to pin? That is really not the question here at all. The question is how not to pin for two hours (or until one's bum goes numb) at the expense of other more productive activities. Indeed no amount of pinning ever gets the ironing done, the dishes clean or the family fed - BUT  - it will show you how to make your own linen spray, stack the dishwasher effectively, cook a vegan feast for twenty in under an hour - I kid you not... If it can be done, if it can be seen, if it can be photographed, catalogued, made, visited, laughed at or stalked... it's on Pinterest. I think of it as a subscription to every known publication on the planet.

I have a few boards (cough cough) and yes, I've pinned a modest (cough cough) tally of images.
I tend to set a timer nowadays  - this way I avoid being judged by my sixteen year old who thrives on noting my "screen time" ..... and let's face it - it can be overdone.

So far I've come up with waaay more pros than cons. In fact, I only have two negatives to note:

1 - Time wasting - enough said.
2 - Bad pinning = bad linking = bad credit = ineffective information = rubbish = internet.

So as a general rule - always do your research. Check that credit given is legit and be aware of the fact that the digital era we live in allows ANYTHING on the web to be manipulated. (ANYTHING)

Having said all that  - I love it. Not as much as the written, printed, three dimensional word no, but pretty darn satisfying as far inspiration, organisation and gathering of ideas.

Here are a few of my pins...

Obviously it's great for creating mood boards that inspire your dream home, sense of style, taste... love of white floorboards, linen and all things rustic... but did you know that you can find your DREAM bathroom too?

... or perhaps you obsess over greenery...

Need artistic inspiration?
Well look no further... Pinterest has you covered....

Paolo Reversi 

David Oliveira

... and if fine art is not quite your talent well then just get 
your craft on baby...

... or pin just the movies & tunes you'd highly recommend
to friends and fellow pinners... 



The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 

... then again if you fancy cooking up a few carbohydrate dense delights
(as I do)  then you you've come to the right place darling. In Pinterest land it's ok to be 
a lacto-ove-vegan-paleo-gluten tolerant-carbaddicted-foodie...

... and plan the outfit you want to wear to that Spring wedding that's coming up...

... or just pin for the sake of sheer beauty...

And if you're anything like me and you love a bit of wit mixed with a few giggles...

I know a lot of people are concerned about crediting images and content correctly.
Of course if you can give credit then it's deemed the proper thing to do.
Problem is the ball of yarn has been played with - the tangles are too hard to unravel.

When I pin artists I check the link first and then (if I can) 
I try to support their social media or link directly back to the source.

It's tough though. A lot of the time you can but when you are unable to 
it means deciding whether the credit is worth more than the beauty of the art
itself. Do you let go or do you pin and just love what you've saved?

And what about intellectual property - that meme that had you in 
stitches all day... who IS the comical genius behind that cat GIF ?

I love a good debate. I'd be keen to hear what you have to say on the matter.
As you can see I've provided links back to my pins but I'm afraid that's as far as I've gone.
I have cleared my conscience with one of my favourite quotes from the essay 

"To give a text an Author" and assign a single, corresponding interpretation 
to it "is to impose a limit on that text."

And on that note I'll sign off with one of my favourite pins..
(Author unknown but this does not detract from the giggle factor)


Last but not least - a huge, heartfelt and gracious THANK YOU to 
all the beautiful people who responded to my last post with care. compassion, warmth, 
kindness, humour and support. Emails, comments, flowers! 
It humbled me so.
 Indeed there's nothing like a huge dose of gratitude to transform ones mood. 

Wishing you all a fabulous and safe weekend peoples

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What does it mean when you belong to someone?

If you call me up, I'll say a few words

But I'll try not to speak too long
Please to be kind and I'll try to explain
I'll probably get it all wrong

What does it mean when you promise someone?

That no matter how hard or whatever may come

It means that I won't give in

Won't give in, won't give in
'Cause everyone I love is here
Play it once, disappear

Once in a while I return to the fold

With people I call my own

Even if time is just a flicker of light
And we all have to die alone

What does it mean when you belong to someone?

When you're born with a name, when you carry it on

It means that I won't give in

Won't give in, won't give in
'Cause everyone I love is here
All at once, I’ll show you how to get real

Come on now, come on now, can you feel it, I can see it in you

Come on now, come on now, reveal it, turn around won't you

The right time, the right place, right now, turn around

A chance is made, a chance is lost

I carry myself to the edge of the earth

It means that I won't give in

Won't give in, won't give in
'Cause everyone I love is here
Say it once, just say it and disappear

(Finn Brothers)


I've been away for a while
(and that's ok)

It's been a tough few months but I can see the sunshine now
There's been death and sickness and arguing and ugliness

There's also been a lot of love

That sticky glue that wont come off...

... traces of it everywhere - the aftermath of what it means to
love fiercely, ruthlessly and patiently

I'm in awe of this glue
This substance that stitches the human race together
Quilting us into a pattern that cannot be traced back to its' origins

My family astound me with their capacity to heal
They inspire me and give me reason to keep on keeping on
Even when I'm not sure what the heck it is I'm actually doing

That restless heart beats within all of us
It's the Yin that sways back to the Yang
It's the down to show you which way's up

It feels good to be back 

I'd like to dedicate this post to my brother


People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...” 
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Industriart (again)

Some of my long time readers may recall my visit to Industriart way back in 2012 
(I know! Where the bleep has the time gone??) 
I had the good fortune of conducting a rather casual interview with the lovely owner Veronica and sharing a few images that I snapped of her wonderful collection of wares.

Given the eclectic nature of her treasure trove I made an appointment with her 
to visit and take a new set of images that I could A - drool over and 
B - pop up on my blog for all you Jack Sparrows out there

Whilst many of you cannot make it in to see these delights in the flesh I 
 feel that true pirates still get a thrill from casting their eyes upon 
the gems that are on offer... 

... even if it does mean leaving empty handed.

Given half the chance, I myself would pillage plunder her gems but she is 
such a lovely woman my conscience tells me otherwise... 

... well that and the fact that my little cottage in the hills is limited
in space (sigh) and there's the tiny factor regarding my 
husband and his growing intolerance of my clutter 

The bonus with a jaunt to Industriart is that you do not have 
to be lover of ALL THINGS OLD  - there are interesting items that have 
been given a breath of new life as well as items which qualify as 
perfect for the person who has everything 

I love going there because I get to chat with Veronica whilst taking 
a trip down memory lane

My mum had one of these Ginger Wafer tins and I recall being 
bitterly disappointed when I opened it to find it full of tea bags.

Obviously I've changed because the mere sight of a tea bag sets 
off my shameful addiction and the notion of them stored in a vintage tin...

...well you get the idea..

If it's coloured glass you're into then you'll be 
rubber necking all the way...

... and did I mention there's TWO floors?

MAHOOSIVE restraint shown at this point... although I'm weakening with every 
minute that passes - and I do not want one... I want, desire, need all three

I went a little snap happy and then when it came time to edit 
I thought ... stuff it - put them all in

... at least this way my readers abroad are given a 
thorough tour ... non?

I have at least four recipes which would shift from boring to brilliant
just by being served on these cabbage leaves...

more medal worthy restraint shown here...

... and here....

Well  there you have it peoples - a peep into the world of
Industriart  - Unit D, 29 Clayton Street, Bellevue, WA

I will just add ...

If you are able to pop in then make sure you allow enough time
for a satisfying experience (minimum 1/2 hour for sure)


A very sincere thank you to Veronica for allowing me to take 
all these photos and share them with you.

On another note I just wanted to extend my love
and appreciation to all the readers who sent me personal emails after reading 
my last post.

I try really hard to be positive and up beat as much as possible
but I am only human and I guess it was only a matter of time 
before some of the more mundane dramas made there way to
the (usually positive) pages of my blog.

I suspect that people who are happy to rant on the net do so
because it can be quite cathartic. Surely it isn't just to be negative?

I also suspect that people who only ever share the stellar stuff
have bad days too - they just edit them out of the public eye.
And that's cool too.

I began this blog as a journal, a creative outlet, a hobby 
and a healthy distraction

It's ended up giving me way more than I give to it
I feel very blessed to have made a few wonderful new
friends along the way

Anyhoo..... I'm rambling now and all I really
wanted to say was 
"Thanks ever so much for the love"

My bad days are a walk in the park compared to the 
trials of some and reminding myself of this
(sometimes 37 times a day)
DOES actually help

... but then again so did a small, wee, petty, little, miniature rant
(kinda, sorta... almost)

Oh - one last thing - if you're having a heavy day then do yourself 
a favour and crank up the next song and dance the dance you 
dance when no one can see you dance ... you know the one...

(I dare anyone to say they don't feel better after 
bopping and hopping like a chimp on cocaine)

Van Halen - Jump

Ok, that's me done. 
Over and Out and a Walla Walla Bing Bang