This little guy was commissioned after a conversation at The Suitcase Rummage with my next door stall holder. A market I don’t think I’ll be attending again.

The concept is really cute, everyone gets a space for a rug and their suitcase of goodies. Very simple setups with no marquees or tables, just stuff on a rug for people to walk past and everyone seemed so lovely. HOWEVER doing this in the Queensland summer was a recipe for heat stroke. I was chugging back the water and topping up sunscreen all day but still got sick and burnt. There is very limited shade in that square so most people were in direct, relentless, sunlight for 5 hours with extra heat radiating back up from the grey tiles.

The metal on my jewellery got so hot it burnt my hand and I had to warn people not to touch them while also worrying about the glues being affected. It was so bad that the heat alarm kept going off on my phone! Obviously this market has been going a while and they usually have had milder weather but I’m not sure I want to risk it again.

I haven’t made a frog before, I haven’t even tried to make a frog before. So I took this one very slowly and carefully. I’m scared of making animals because I LOVE THEM and want to do them justice. The feet on this guy were my biggest concern. I’ve got him sitting on a piece of bark so those little toes are supported and protected from wear and tear. I was really happy with how the texture of the bark came out too, those jagged edges look so real!  Here he is in his little gift box ready to be delivered to the gift recipient. I hope she likes it!

Polymer Clay as Art

I find that once people hear I work with polymer clay and understand that I am talking about Fimo they get that look in their eye that says “oh, yeah, I played with that when I was little.” They mentally categorize it next to finger painting and making cars out of egg cartons.
Yes that’s nice dear, I’m sure you make LOVELY colourful blobs.

I don’t consider myself a high level artist yet (I’m working on it) but I feel that PC is just as valid an artistic medium as paint. The same way paint can do this

it can also make a picture like this

It’s what you do with it!

Here are some polymer clay artists I really admire and I think take that clay well into the realms of art

Meredith Dittmar

Her website

There’s a good article about her work and interview here and here

These sculptures fascinate me. They are intricate, expressive and you don’t see a hint of the standard and overused polymer clay techniques.

Shay Aaron

Flickr Site and Etsy Store
An interview with Shay here 

The world of miniature food making with polymer clay is a highly populated one but Shay stands out from the pack with work that boggles the mind with it’s detail and scale.

Del Moro

Del is a Russian Artist and as far as I can work out, I think this is her main site but there is also this one.
Livejournal and Flickr page

Pier Voulkus

Some pictures of her work here

Artist Profile here

Pier was one of the first people to take Polymer Clay from a children’s toy to new use as an accepted art material and is considered one pf PC’s Greats. She discovered a lot more about the properties of the clay and what it was capable of. She has pieces in a permanent museum collection on the history of Polymer Clay at the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin.

After this I might start doing regular posts highlighting artists that I discover. Would you be interested in reading that?

Original Article

I’ve found a lot of imposingly good polymer clay and jewellery work lately. This stuff really makes me want to just lock myself in my work room for 6 months and work on my poly clay art and nothing else. UGH it’s so good I can’t stop staring and shaking my head.

Briana Landavazo ■ Malin Mellryd ■ Winnie Poh ■ Count Blue ■ Anna Pankratova ■ Alisa Maskaeva

Original Article

Talking about diet and eating habits is difficult for me. I generally don’t like hearing diet talk and I feel like if I talk about the way I’m eating I’m giving people permission to judge it, to judge me, to judge my body and to tell me what they think. The same way just being a fat person eating, exercising or existing in public invites comments. It’s so rude, patronizing and ridiculously counter-productive I could rant about it forever. Here’s a good little article about fat-shaming if you want to start reading further. I’m hoping by putting this out there I might face less criticism, commentary and scrutiny over my current food choices.

I’m terrible at sticking to these kinds of things. When I make a food resolution it tends to go out the window after a couple of months. However, I decided to give the Whole30 eating plan a go. I’ve been aiming to eat mostly Paleo/Primal for the last 7 months and have found my biggest challenges are eating out, grabbing fast food at work and the temptation to drink coke. It’s all been downhill since my Birthday is May, really. My big aims are to kick myself back onto the paleo track and to get off sugar and coke. My old nemesis COKE, our history goes way back and is pretty horrifying. I timed this with a change in my work situation. I’m now working from home and that has made everything a lot easier. No food court to walk past and smell all day. No coke machines everywhere you turn. That’s my biggest temptations out of mind and sight while I go through the sugar & caffeine withdrawal. PHEW

I notice on the whole9 site they have a blurb intended for explaining to people, who ask about the diet you are on, what you are doing. It’s a bit holier than thou but I think it gets across the message that this is about trying to cut back to eating in a way that is least likely to cause general health problems.

Whole9′s Nutrition in 60 Seconds
We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.
Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.
(Read the entire article, Nutrition in 60 Seconds, on the 9 Blog.)

The paleo/primal eating habits go pretty hardcore against the commonly accepted wisdom when it comes to a balanced diet. There are plenty who argue against it and also plenty who swear by it. I’m not going to advocate for it for others but right now it’s really working for me. I’m sleeping better, have miles more energy, I’ve given up my daily nap, I’m exercising again and I just feel better overall. I’ve got 4 days left of my Whole30 and I know the night it’s over I’m going to go a bit crazy (Especially since I’m attending a dinner party!) but the last 20 days have really solidified my commitment to eating like this long term. I just feel so good! YIPPEE

Original Article

Cooking: Pulled Pork

Over the last 6 months I’ve been experimenting with cooking things way outside my usual area of experience. This is partially because I’ve been making changes and experimenting with my general diet and it’s forced me to really assess how each thing I eat affects me. For example, I’ve identified gluten as a serious problem and the longer I go without ingesting any, the more obvious the result is when I do.

This week I made something I’ve never made before, pulled pork! I’ve only ever had it at a couple of Southern American BBQ themed places in town (Hey locals, try The Smoke it’s amazing) I followed the recipe from here and slow cooked the crap outta this pork. I’m using my Grandma’s old crockpot and it’s smaller than standard modern ones, the whole thing only just fit, I had to cut the pork shoulder down a bit and then place three smaller pieces in the top around the main roast. It filled the house with a wonderful spicy smell. I couldn’t locate any chipotle powder in Brisbane and believe me, I looked all over town. So instead I used “mexican chilli powder" (which doesnt say anywhere what kind of chillis it contains) and added some liquid smoke.

Here is a collection of other meals I’m pretty proud of making lately

Zucchini “spaghetti” and mushrooms

Banana ice cream

Perfectly cooked grass-fed steak with mixed mushrooms and stir fried veggies

Cold Avocado and Crab Soup

Dry Steak Rub with Avocado Salsa and Chopped Broccoli Salad

Original Article

Friday Fancy

This Friday I fancy…

The Tv Screen Test Necklace by bRainbow. How cool is this little tv? I saw these at Finders Keepers last year and they are even cooler and more vibrant in person.

This Tee-Skirt tutorial over at Scientific Culture. I’m a big fan of comfy skirts with pockets, in fact I think ALL skirts should have pockets and pocketless clothing should be outlawed!

These Naughts and Kisses Mugs by Hey Emmaline. They look like they’re a nice satisfying size and I dig the simple hand drawn design

This rockabilly etsy store called Ticci Rockabilly. I fell completely in love with half the store! My favourite was this striped dress

A make-up line created by Pantone. It’s all based around their colour of the year Tangerine Tango and I believe it’s only available at Sephora.com

Original Article

Interviews About Hacklock

In the last couple of weeks I’ve done both my first and second interviews about Hacklock EVER! I feel quite awkward about it, I hope they are interesting.

You can see my interview with Bianca in the first issue of her Zine called Miniatures. Click to photo for access to an online zine reader and check the whole thing out.

The other you can see on the Doucheberries blog where they are holding a giveaway of this little berry pie pendant I made specially for the occasion.
Click the photo to go to the interview and the information about how to enter.

Beep Boop Internet – Friday 5th October

 Each fortnight I post a list of links that have caught my interest 

She mentioned one of her 8 year old students – a girl – who wrote a story about a fierce but heroic pirate called Jessica.
”Pirates aren’t girls,” one of her classmates protested, and several others agreed.
”What about Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean?” the writer shot back. ”She’s not a main one,” came the reply. ”The main pirates are all boys.” The main pirates are all boys. So are the main robots, monsters, bugs, soldiers, toys, cars, trains, rats and lions.

from Beep Boop Internet – Friday 5th October

Beep Boop Internet - Friday 20 July

Each fortnight I post a list of links that have caught my interest 


Original Article

A Very Happy Birthday to Me (long post)

Last week I reached a big milestone and clicked over to the “30 years and older” category. I’d been approaching the date with a deeply embedded sense of dread. All my life tv and the general media seemed to view hitting 30 as a time to mourn. This is the end of your youth. This is the end of your viability as a romantic prospect. This is the end of being cool, adventurous and exciting. That episode of friends where each person turns 30? MISERABLE!

During the past year there were a lot of times that thinking about my birthday led me to looking back and analyzing my life. Making internal lists of all the ways I considered myself a disappointment. Thinking of all those markers usually considered signs of success and chastising myself for falling short. Where is my career? Where is my long term relationship? Where are my savings? Where is my fitness and hawt body?

Here’s the thing, although I do feel like I have a long way to go, I am pretty happy with my life. I just adore my friends, they are wonderful and fascinating people. My family get along well despite some eccentricity. My job doesn’t give me enough hours to survive on but the work is good and strangely satisfying at times. I feel like I have my mental health under control and my general health is improving. I have longer term plans that I’m slowly working towards and I’m really happy and excited about that. I could get annoyed about the things I didn’t accomplish in the time I’ve had but really, I’m a generally happy person and I’ve still done a lot of amazing things, so why bother?

I had two events for my birthday, a small crafternoon gathering the weekend before with a couple of friends and a big noisy dinner with a whole lot more. Before both of those however, I was suprised with a ticket to see my favourite band, The Mountain Goats. They played a fantastic set and Devo and I got a great spot only one or two people back from the stage. I think my highlight was when they played Autoclave.

The crafternoon was wonderful, we painted bobbleheads and learnt some origami. I was going to do a polymer clay demo but I got too involved in painting, talking, eating lollies and drinking cider.

My actual birthday was the Wednesday, I had a relaxing day which included visiting my Grandma and then headed into e city for a few drinks before dinner. I wore my amazing color splash titles from We Love Colors and a dress and a vest from Modcloth. I was sufficiently brightly colored to get weird looks on the train. YAY!

The dinner was at a little restaurant built in an old cellar. I highly recommend them if you are in or around Brisbane, they do the most fantastic risottos. Halfway through the dinner I was surprised with the most amazing and humbling gift. After opening a few deceptively sized boxes I saw something that i had some trouble comprehending. They had pooled their money and bought me a brand new iPad. Something I never ever thought I would be able to own. The next morning i woke up, saw the box and immediately burst into tears, the generosity is so overwhelming. I’ve barely put it down since, I’m even writing this post on it!

I am so very lucky to have such wonderful friends and to have had such a fantastic birthday.

Original Article

Beep Boop Internet

I AM SO BEHIND so I’m going to throw a Friday Fancy and Beep Boop at you on the SAME DAY.

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#FFFFFF” end_color=”#b9e9e9” border=”#339999” color=”#333333”]”Roman senators went to Roman baths to be promiscuous gays, bis, and orgiers then went to the Coliseum to watch Christians get mauled and perish. Do gays become this sadistic? Yes. They cuss after coupling, don’t like the land they lay on, and 80% of those that did treason by the year 2000 are gays.”[/message]

Original Article

What *have* I been up to?

Time for an update just about life in general.

I’ve been working really hard on preparing for these markets and building up a back supply of stock. If you follow my twitter and/or instagram you would have seen lots of sneak peak photos. So let’s have have a look at those.

I’ve also just listed a bunch of new things up on the Etsy store. Which always takes longer to do than I think it will.

I’ve been taking a million photos of Fang. Because I’m spending so much time working at home I think I’ve been using him as stress relief. When I need a break I go looking for him for cuddles and general cat style entertainment. Here is a sample of my recent pictures. Aww, look at that crazy little guy.

I set up a display space at In.cub8r, a shop in Fortitude Valley that aims to make it easy for artists to get their work out there in the public eye. I love the concept of these stores and I’m pretty excited to be a part of it. This is my first taste of selling retail, which is both really exciting and very daunting. My initial cube set-up didn’t work the way I had intended it at all. So after a couple of weeks I went back in and shuffled things around. I’ll probably keep experimenting  but right now it looks like this ->

Outside of Hacklock related activities I haven’t done all that much, I’ve been staying in and saving my pennies.

What I have been doing is experimenting with my diet, new ways of eating and keeping a very close eye on how my body reacts. When I have that more figured out there is definitely a blog post waiting to be written. I’ve been reading so much about food and nutrition that my eyes go all cross eyed. There’s been some birthdays, my little brother who isn’t very little turned 26 and we took the parents out to a brazillian bbq place. Which BLEW THEIR MINDS. For HParv’s birthday we had delicious ramen and I baked cupcakes that looked like hamburgers.  We went to a dumpling place for Devo’s Birthday and I didn’t order any dumplings because I’m crazy? My own birthday is coming up in May and it’s a big one. The big THREE ZERO, the age all tv sitcom women lament as the end of their social/dating/attractive lives. OHHH NOOOOOOOO

I’m so behind on my TV and movie watching that I’m starting to worry I’ll get kicked off the internet. The only things I’m managing to keep up with are Adventure Time and Game of Thrones. Which are both completely excellent, don’t get me wrong, I love them. I just need to catch up on Community, Mad Man and Breaking Bad. Oh, I did watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and loved it! Such an amazing talented cast. I can’t remember the last time I actually went to the cinema, how depressing. However, I’m excitedly awaiting the Avengers movie and promise to hit the cinema for that one.

So, dear readers what have you been up to? Got any movies to recommend?

Original Article

Boy Beardy and the Beardy Boys

Some time ago a very talented friend and I were discussing the idea of some kind of creative collaboration. He’s an illustrator and I’m a clay magician, it’s not the most likely duo but we both love each others work. Then inspiration struck as he was putting together an exhibition concept.

It was going to be a very sexy show and at first I was wondering how the hell I could be involved. Then I got a set of face designs that tied in with the faces in the portraits. BRILLIANT! I then made those faces into pendants and brooches by hand. These were to be available to buy at the launch and available for that exhibition only (any left over went up on Etsy.) In the end I made 24, half as pendants and half as brooches with a range of skin and hair colour. The resulting rainbow collection of faces was so satisfying to look at! I called them the Beardy Boys.

The exhibition, called Faggots and Peas, had possibly the best Facebook event description I’ve ever seen. This was a launch for the sexy alto ego Boy Beardy as well as the work that went with it.

The exhibition itself was great fun. Here are some photos of the Beardy Boys on display and some happy customers. I’m so very mad at myself for not taking better photos of the whole collection before they started to sell. They were so popular, it was quite humbling.

The Beardy Boy prototype

Beardy Boys under construction

On Display

Happy Customer Mem (also wearing my Sub Sandwich Necklace)

Happy Customers!

Boy Beardy’s special Birthday edition Beardy Boy. Pretty proud of myself for keeping this one secret till BB’s Birthday

*From Wikipedia: A popular dish is “Faggots and Peas”. This is a common combination in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, especially so since the 18th century industrialisation onwards, but also for hundreds of years prior. It is still common to see small butchers’ shops in the area selling faggots to their own (sometimes secret) recipe for a cheap price. Commonly, the faggot consists of pork liver and heart minced, wrapped in bacon, with onion and breadcrumbs. Often, the faggot should be cooked in a crock, with gravy and served with peas and mashed potato.

from Boy Beardy and the Beardy Boys
Friday Fancy – Friday 28th September

This Friday I fancy…

Domino Dollhouse Victorian Vampire Jacket – DD have put up some great looking plus sized stuff for halloween costumes. I’m particularly taken with this jacket, not specifically for halloween. I just love the style, my inner goth still craves attention sometimes

Fabulous Missus Fox Dress by Nerd Alert Designs  – It’s a shame this sellers images are so pixelated, the quality of their clothes looks high. These foxes are adorable!

Dinosaur Skeleton Headband by Fat Hipster – Almost didn’t share this one because I want it for myself. I completely love everything they have in this store and all their past sales. So bright and wonderful! Did you see the octopus sunglasses?

Movie Miniatures Scale Model Beetlejuice House Terrarium


Mary Katrantzou Floral Nails by Clara H – I am in awe.

from Friday Fancy – Friday 28th September

Beep Boop Internet – Friday 21st September

 Each fortnight I post a list of links that have caught my interest 

from Beep Boop Internet – Friday 21st September

I think it’s time I talked about my other job.

Many many years ago my family acquired a small business. A booth in a shopping center that did some printing, copying, binding type services as well as customized photo printed things like mugs, shirts and keyrings.

It was a weird little place to work. You had a lot of creative opportunities but the clientele often preffered the basic bold and bright. Add a drop shadow and BLOW MINDS. After so many years there, my design skills are so completely centered on what is the best font to go with a baby photo that I freak out if I have to design anything outside that world.

I have enough crazy customer stories I could talk your ears off. There was the older guy with the horrible B.O. who would get very questionable anime posters laminated. The sad man locked in an eternal custody battle for kids overseas. The military nutter who got fake certificates made saying he’d met all the American presidents. The lady with a split personality who needed business cards for each. It goes on…

Then there was all the lovely older people who just needed help with technologies they didn’t understand. Who were so thankful for things that were almost second nature to me that their suprise and praise would brighten my day. That’s what I’ll miss the most as the shop has now moved on. I tried to leave the safe clutches of that store but I always came back.

There came a point where the rent was just too high and always rising. The shop was not doing well enough, we needed to get out and It took nearly 2 years to do it. We were on a long contract with a giant retail  group (who I won’t name), that promised to help us out and find someone to take over the lease. Instead they hindered everything we tried to do. They never really looked for a replacement, never made any offers and stopped us from doing the looking ourselves. It was cruel indifference and empty promises as we provided proof over and over that we were broke.

In the end, we did a runner.

It was crazy and scary!

With no more options left to us and a lot of consultation with experts and professionals the decision was made. We waited till exactly the right day and time, packed up all the stock and machinery, loaded it into trolleys covered in sheets and walked out.

I’m going to miss some of those customers and the coworkers even more. I’ll miss the Japanese curry from the food court and the $2 store with the surprisingly extensive art & craft section. I will not miss the terrible pop music from surrounding stores competing with each other, the screaming always screaming toddlers or the panic that comes with machine breakdowns. The worst were days where multiple machines would stop working and you’d run out of things to try. You would just have to wait for help to arrive and inform customer after fuming customer that their work would not be ready on time. They love that!

There’s more to this story of course. We have a plan for the future but let’s save that for another post. Right now I just want to say goodbye.

Bye little store with your rag tag crew of giggling employees. Bye dying shopping center that I’ve been traveling to for 9 years. Bye to the lovely little old mathematician in his 90’s, who worked out how to do his own copies and always had the right change. Bye lovely lady who always came over to tell me how great my hair looks. Finally, a big goodbye to that chapter of my life.

Original Article

Friday Fancy

This Friday I fancy…

Cuppow! Turn a canning jar into a travel mug. They have a tumblr too

DIY Pom-Pom Bouquet - I love this idea, you get all the colour and cheerfullness of having a vase of flowers but with less wilting.

My friend Mem’s new tattoo of her cat. I really love this, it’s so hard to really capture the colour pattern of a tortie and this artist did a fantastic job.

The Hi-5 Postcard set from Esther Aarts

DIY Nail Stickers using tape from The Beauty Department

Original Article