Tag Archives: art

Friday Finds – Fully Inked

27 Jul

We love temporary tattoos around our place.  Maybe I should be more precise.  The Drama Queen likes them, the Daredevil LOVES them.  He proudly flashes his temporary ink like a little Buzz Lightyear badge of honour.  Unfortunately, I have had a hard time finding temporary tatts that have a bit of two year old street cred.  The Daredevil doesn’t really care, he’ll sport anything, it’s his Mum that has a little cringe as the next cartoon character is applied.  I’ve stopped short of grabbing a texta and making up my own (which is not a good idea, particularly if you don’t want to be sporting some of your own home grown two year old designed “ink”), but was sure that there had to be something better out there.

Ta da! Hello Tattly and its designy temporary tattoos.  It’s always easier to describe something in their own words, so here they are…

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem once said that “The best way to complain is to make things,” and that’s what Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Tattly did. Tired of putting poorly designed temporary tattoos on her daugther’s arm, she took matters into her own hands.

In July of 2011, Tattly Temporary Tattoos launched online, featuring an all-star lineup of professional designers and illustrators. Starting with just a handful of different designs, Tattly received thousands of orders from around the world. There are now over 150 designs available both online and in select retailers worldwide. Since launching, Tattly has shipped millions of tattoos to more than 90 countries.

Continuing to partner with leading artists and retailers, Tattly has found that the world was indeed waiting for designy temporary tattoos.

I found them through Oliver Jeffers and his Facebook page.  I’ve talked about my little creative crush on him and his picture books here.  He is an artist for Tattly and is high on my temporary ink wish list.  By using artists and designers Tattly has developed the coolest range of temporary tattoos, and has made my little creative Mummy heart smile.  Here are just a selection of the over 150 designs they have on offer.

As the Tattly website says Who Says forever is better?


Friday Finds – Lighting the way

15 Jun

Just a little something to lighten up your day.  Light is such an evocative medium.  It transforms space and creates mood.  I love playing with lighting in the landscape, but I’m not a touch on this guy.

Bruce Munro is a light artist.  He designs and creates spectacular lighting art installations.  I am in awe. I even love the words on his website!

Lighting sets the mood and stirs emotions, and can transform the subconscious feeling of a space entirely.

Creating a balance between functional and decorative is all in the details.

OK, the last two aren’t technically light, but I love how the light plays off the CDs, a perfect art re-use project.


All photos are from Bruce Munro’s website.  You can check out all the other inspiring work he does there too.

Friday Finds – Heavy lace

8 Jun

Sometimes I find things in my research on the net that make me go wow.  Sometimes they are so simple, so unique or so insanely beautiful it is ridiculous.  Today’s Friday Finds falls into all 3 of those categories.  Dutch company, LACE FENCE has created a uniquely beautiful yet infinitely functional product that redefines the humble fence.  In their own words:-

LACE FENCE is a Dutch based company that designs & produces unique architectural fabric delivered globally. LACE FENCE has grown into a product which lives up to the highest standards for a variety of applications.
From safety fence to artpiece. Our only limitation is our own imagination.
The combination of the handmade delicate lace patterns with the industrial look and feel of the metal fencing is unique, and proves that functional can also be beautiful.  Lace Fence works in close collaboration with each client to ensure that each fence is unique solution.  The applications are endless within an architectural and landscape format.  I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.  I would like to Thank Lace Fence for allowing me to use their photographs, and photographer Joost van Brug.
For more detail and information head over to their website at LACE FENCE.
So many places I would love to use this!

Friday Finds – playing with fire

1 Jun

It’s the first day of winter in Australia, and by our standards it’s getting a bit chilly.  Yes I know that in Sydney we don’t know the real meaning of cold, to us it’s freezing if the mercury slips into single digits, and that’s celsius speak!  In honour of winter today’s Friday Finds is all about fire.  I love an outdoor fire.  Memories of toasted marshmallows on camp fires, bonfires on the beach and if I cast my mind back a long long way we use to have bonfires on cracker night before everyone became safety conscious and fireworks were banned.

Fire pits are becoming a backyard trend at the moment, and they range from a hole in the ground or half a metal drum to some seriously beautiful metal sculptures. It’s the seriously beautiful end of the spectrum I’m coming from today.  I stumbled across this artist when I was researching fire pits for a client.  Rick Wittrig calls himself a functional steel artist, and his company, Fire Pit Art, creates very simple, yet elegant fire pits that look good with or without a flame.

Check out his website at Fire Pit Art.

I’m headed off to find me a heater!


Friday Finds – Chelsea Fringe Festival

25 May

Everyone knows about the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but did you know that this year there is a Chelsea Fringe festival running alongside the flower show?  Described as the flower show’s punkier upstart cousin, in their own words, “It’s all about harnessing and spreading some of the excitement and energy that fizzes around gardens and gardening.”

The fringe festival is highlighting more alternative garden themes such as guerrilla gardening, sustainability and art and poetry, and the events look intriguing.  Completely run by Volunteers, it’s inaugural year looks like a winner.  It seems to have a perfect balance of design, eco-warrier and food fun.  I know I’d be taking my munchkins down for a spot of seed bombing if I could!

The festival opened on 19 May and is running until 10 June, so if you’re after something a bit out of the box to do this weekend, and you’re in London or close by this is where I would be heading.  With so many events and activities, you’ll need to visit their website here.  There’s way too many for me to show them all, but here’s a selection.

Guerrilla gardening photography exhibition

Pothole gardening

Boot and shoe gardens in Don’t let the grass grow…move on

Floating Forest on the Grand Union Canal

Pimp your pavement

Edible Bus Stops

Bicycling Beer Garden – my favourite!

Anyone want to shout me a return ticket to London??


Oliver Jeffers at Sydney Writers’ Festival

21 May

Last week Sydney hosted it’s annual Writers’ Festival.  It’s the largest writers’ festival in Australia (which isn’t too hard), and the fifth largest in the world, which is kind of impressive given how far away we are from everyone else.  I have always watched the festival from afar.  I’ve never managed to get myself there, just wished and regretted when I hadn’t quite made it.  This year there was a reason to go.  My favourite children’s author was talking.  He also happens to be the Drama Queen’s favourite author too.  Every time she has to choose a present for a friend or cousin she goes straight to his books.

Oliver Jeffers creates beautiful children’s books.  I’m so glad I had children because without them I might not have discovered his books.  When I saw him listed as part of the festival I knew that I had to go and see him talk.  Fortunately Mr Perfect gave me a day off, so I ventured out on my own, such a rare treat.  Another bonus was that the Festival is held in Sydney’s Walsh Bay, on the historic finger wharves.  I love this part of Sydney.  To reach Walsh Bay from the bus I had to walk through the Rocks.  I’m not sure if its the historic architecture and atmosphere or the memory of too many nights mis spent in the pubs, but I always feel happy in The Rocks.  I love imagining the society that grew up around this area, Sydney’s oldest and probably most interesting.

There was a buzz around Walsh Bay that I hadn’t witnessed before.  With a diverse collection of writers speaking, I witnessed the whole spectrum of the book loving community.  There were babies, kids, adults and seniors, all equally as excited to soak up a little piece of knowledge and inspiration.  I wish I could have seen some more writers, Roddy Doyle was also speaking, but he clashed with the Daredevil’s birthday, so I had to give him a miss.

After queuing in the rain, which was so much fun as I taught people how to make hats out of newspaper, the doors were opened and we filed into the space that would provide us with an hour of Oliver Jeffers’ time and inspiration.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew he was and Irishman living in New York, kinda cool, but when I saw a very creative looking soul in a hat, vest and jacket I knew I was in for an interesting hour.

I wish I had the memory to recall Oliver’s stories word for word, but I was too mesmerised by his Irish accent tinged with the slightest little bit of New York, and can only remember the feeling of happiness that I felt as he told us how his stories are created.  He doesn’t consider himself a writer, he is an artist first, and it’s the weaving of words and images that make his books so interesting and attractive.  It may be the fact the the books are not created for children, not really created for any audience besides himself that might be the real reason that they work so well.  Oliver Jeffers doesn’t write children’s stories, he creates picture books, picture books he would like to read, and I’m another reader who is hooked.

The best part of my day was that I got to take a little piece of Oliver Jeffers home to the Drama Queen.  I picked up two of his books and got them signed for the munchkins. When she opened the book and saw her name, she couldn’t believe that Oliver Jeffers had signed a book just for her.  She asked me to say thank you to him and tell him that he wrote her favourite books.  The good news was that I had already told him.  So, if by the odd chance that you happen to read this post Oliver Jeffers, you made a 4 year old and her much older Mum’s day.

If you haven’t read any of Oliver Jeffers books, you really should.  You can find them on his website here.  The Drama Queen’s favourites are Lost and Found and Up and Down (she has a bit of a thing for the penguin), though she is also rather fond of The Heart in the Bottle and the Incredible Book Eating Boy as well.


Banksy rat destroyed

16 May

A news article on ABC radio caught my attention today.  A piece of street art by Banksy, one of the parachuting rats, was destroyed by a tradie who was drilling through a wall for a cafe in Prahran, Melbourne.  Whoops!  The tradie didn’t know who Banksy was, or the significance of the work, which was valued to be in the vicinity of $50,000.  Apparently the wall was covered in tags and other indiscriminate art and graffiti and he wasn’t able to discriminate between this and Banksy’s work.

I love street art, and Banksy is up there with the best.  I admire people who have the strength to take on their environment and make a comment about where and how they live through art.  But I have struggled to work out the line between graffiti and art.  Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s a little bit harder.  The tradesman had no interest or knowledge of street art and  I can see how he could easily have made the mistake.  After years of working for local government, I have experienced the joys of commissioning public art that will enhance the cultural environment, and the lows of having landscapes and work damaged or destroyed by graffiti and vandalism.  I have also endured the complaints and arguments that surround street art – the desire to create it versus the desire to destroy it or “clean it up”.

There are now calls for the City of Melbourne, where many of Banksy’s remaining Australian pieces are located, to create a register of street art.  Melbourne’s lane ways are packed with street art.  It is interesting and inspiring.  I love wandering the lane ways when I visit Melbourne, the transient nature of the street art is dynamic and fascinating.  The very nature of street art  is that it will change over time.  It is a commentary of the current culture, and as that culture changes so will the art that represents it.  Is a register that defines what can and can not be altered or destroyed counter to the essential nature of street art?

Whilst it is disappointing that the Banksy rat is no more, is this completely against the nature of his work?  I think it there needs to be a clear delineation between what is public art and what is street art and how they are managed.  Both have an equally important role within our cultural landscape, but serve different functions.  The guerrilla nature of uncommissioned street art will generally mean it has a sharper statement on society, more bite to it’s commentary than work that has been commissioned. To suddenly take a snapshot of the current art and say “no more” will deny the natural transition, growth and evolution of the street art culture, and lose the richness in social commentary that it provides.

Well, that’s my rant for the day!


Friday Finds – Bombing it!

27 Apr

I love a good bit of guerrilla crafting, a crafty incursion into the everyday.  It reminds me that creativity can be found anywhere and anytime if you have the heart and the will.  I particularly like a good yarn bomb, partly because it is such a simple idea, and partly because I’m so in awe of the creation because, as hard as I try, I can not knit.

Magda Sayeg is the queen of the yarn bomb.  I’ve been surprised by her ‘bombs’ around the Sydney Opera House, though missed her other Sydney installations.  I love how such a simple material can completely change a space, magically transform design and, in my mind, enhance a landscape.  Yarn bombing is a completely ephemeral installation, by the nature of the material it can not be permanent, and it is its element of surprise that really makes my creative heart smile.  Enjoy the bombs!

All photos from Magdasayeg.com

You can even bomb your iPhone – check out the Knitta shop if you want to have your own little fragment of a bomb.


A Park of Stories

24 Apr

I have been meaning to visit Ballast Point Park – Walama for a while now, since it opened to the public in 2009, so it has taken me too long to get there.  Design Mom’s love the place you live theme gave me the perfect opportunity to pack the family up and have a look.  I’ve watched the park transform from the ferry as we travelled past, and looked at it from afar as the munchkins have played on a favourite playground, but never quite managed to physically get there.  But once again for love the place you live, we gravitated back to Sydney’s picturesque harbour, and explored Ballast Point.

Let me start by saying this is my kind of park, but initially it wasn’t the Drama Queens.  There is no structured playground, and this was a bitter disappointment to a four year old. I firmly hold the belief that the world is a playground and you shouldn’t need a set of swings to ensure endless fun.  The richer the landscape, the more fun that can be made, and Ballast Point Park is a landscape of quite divine treasures.

The Drama Queen needed a bit of convincing to come around to my way of thinking.  I explained to her that this was a park full of stories instead of a park full of playground equipment.  This sparked her interest as she loves a good story – especially when she makes them up herself.  I started to tell her and show her the stories weaved through the landscape, and as she started to see them for herself the park took on a whole new set of adventures.  There was no such convincing needed for her brother, this park is a Daredevil’s wonderland, so much to climb and explore, and he didn’t care that it wasn’t primary coloured and structured.

Ballast Point is a rich and diverse landscape of layers and stories.  The current parkland weaves an interesting and engaging tapestry of landscape design, artwork and historic interpretation to provide a valuable recreational resource for the community of Sydney.  Located in Birchgrove, Ballast Point Park is part of the expanding network of foreshore parks that the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is developing and managing in order to return previously alienated land back to the public.  Designed by McGregor + Coxall, a Sydney based landscape architectural firm, the current format recognises a long and interesting history while addressing the functionality and significance of the site as public open space.

The site has a rich Indigenous, colonial and industrial heritage, and there are features through the park that tell these stories.  Some are literal, like the retention of industrial site features and signage, others interpretive like the display of relics suspected to have come from the excavated Menevia foundations, the original home built on the site, and some more ephemeral like the poetry and artworks that punctuate the site and recognise the site  and it’s significance to the harbour and its history.  Significantly, the park has the dual names of Ballast Point Park and Walama recognising both  the European and Indigenous history and importance of the site.

One of the most interesting layers of the park is its eco-cred.  The site is full of recycled and re-used materials, the most obvious being the imposing gabion walls made out of recycled building rubble.  The surprising flashes of mosaic tiles, electrical cover plates and marble make these walls a significant feature on their own.  The electricity for the site is produced from wind turbines located on the imposing Tank 101 artwork, and the storm water from the site is filtered through a network of wetlands on the site before it enters the harbour.  Plantings throughout the site enhance local biodiversity through the utilisation of local provenance seed stock.

Through all the design and history, my favourite part of this park is the layer that the current use has provided.  While we were there, we saw dogs being walked, people picnicking and families exploring.  The most interesting part was one I hadn’t expected.  People have begun to place padlocks on the gab ion walls overlooking the harbour.  Families, lovers, friends, travellers all seem to be locking their “love” on the site.  Reminiscent of Pont des Arts in Paris, these locks are commemorating people’s own personal life journeys of birth, love and death.

I am seriously considering adding a lock to the wall!


Friday finds: Lump

13 Apr

It’s been a bit of a slow week around Drawn Outdoors, we took some time out to head down the coast and try and catch the last opportunity for some autumn beach fun, so Friday Finds is all I could muster up blog wise this week, but it is a good one.

I sought out this company when I saw their fabulous screens used in the MasterChef kitchen, and while I haven’t had a chance to use any of their work yet, I keep visiting their website for some fantastic inspiration.  Lump Studio is located in Melbourne, and creates beautiful and striking outdoor art.  In their own words:-

Lump has quietly established itself as one of Australia’s premier designers and creators of contemporary art and outdoor sculptures, committed to producing original designs and high quality art pieces in their Melbourne studio.  Originally founded by Chris Vassallo and later joined by Timothea Jewell, Lump Sculpture Studio at its essence,  is a place where art is essential to the lives of the people who work there, a place where art provides a living, a sense of purpose and an opportunity to keep discovering.

Enjoy the lovely outdoor eye candy to end your Easter week.  If you need more, visit their website, where you’ll find these and many many more beautiful works.

Enjoy the weekend!



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