What I am up to – The Art of Felting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not only is felting good fun it is relatively easy too. Here is the wool that has been pulled apart and laid out to begin the process. I have used a deep blue as I am doing a mixed media painting which will incorporated blue arches. The painting is inspired by religious imagery and will include a gold cross which is also felted.

 

Image Here the felt is covered with tulle. You can see the studio in the background. Soap and water is then added and rubbed into the wool. This agitates the wool forcing it to ‘grab’ and come together.

The felt – or soon to felt is covered with plastic and the air bubbles pressed out.

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The felt is then rolled with plastic and an old blind! – and tied. The next step is to roll and again agitate the wool and soap so the felt binds.

 

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The finished product!

 

 

The 90’s in a snapshot -The 20 year anniversary of ‘Reality Bites’ – What I’m reading, watching and listening to…

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I was seventeen when Reality Bites was released.  I went to the cinema, with a group of friends to see it.  This year is the film’s twentieth anniversary and the movie stands up, still – after twenty years.

The film is a snapshot of Generation X and their attempts of a group of friends to make sense of their lives after graduating college. The movie follows the ups and  downs of four characters. Lelaina Pierce the valedictorian of her college and aspiring film-maker (Winona Ryder),   Troy Dyer (Ethan Hawke) who despite his high IQ can’t seem to find his place in the world as well as Vickie Miner played by the amazing (Janeane Garofolo) who as Vickie works at the Gap for minimum wage. In the film she is struggles with a promiscuous past in which she must confront whether or not she could has contracted HIV. Then there is  Sammy Gray (Steve Zahn) who is in the closet and wanting to come out to his family before he ‘does the big A’.

Directed by Ben Stiller who also plays  Micheal Grates and Winona’s would-be boyfriend in the film and written by Helen Childress the film pinpoints a moment in time and translates it successfully into film.

Who can forget the scene in the service station where Lelaina and Vickie dance to My Sharona. Or when Vickie discusses her fears about having an AIDS test worrying that everyone will come to her funeral in halter tops like in Melrose place? There are so many great moments in Reality Bites, the humour is cracking and has stood the test of time – the jokes are still funny and the serious moments still poignant.

For me watching “Reality Bites” again was a blast from the past and one that I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting again. Happy twentieth anniversary Reality Bites!

Generation X

Speaking of all things Generation X, Douglas Coupland’s book Generation X also follows a group friends who ares trying to distill meaning in their lives in a period (the late 90’s) when everything seems to be futile and meaningless. The Baby Boomer’s have left Generation X with environmental destruction, flimsy values and a sense of inertia. Telling stories to one another is the only way Dag, Claire and Andy can try and make any sense of their lives. They refuse to be a ‘target market’ working Mcjobs ( low pay, low prestige, low-dignity no future jobs), and ‘dropping out’ in order to live a life in which meaning is constructed through the small moments and storytelling. Andy, Claire and Dag’s stories form the backbone of the book. They are amusing, poignant and disturbing revealing the inner world of the characters.

‘Generation X – Tales for an accelerated culture’ spawned the term ‘Generation X’ which is now the infamous defining term for the generation born after the Baby Boomers. A good read and an interestingly set out book that includes definitions of all things Gen X.

Suzanne Vega 2

Suzanne Vega is famous for the 90’s hit Tom’s Diner but one of my favourite albums of all time is Vega’s 99.9 fahrenheit degrees. This album doesn’t include Tom’s Diner – every track on this album though is great. A real gem from the 90’s and definitely one to check out!

My List

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Welcome! I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy putting it together….I’m going to be posting once a week. So please feel free to browse and leave comments!

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WHAT I’M READING

For a comprehensive guide to writing fiction – Gotham Writer’s Workshop, Writing Fiction, The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Writing School edited by Alexander Steele is a book I stumbled across on Better World Books. A fortunate accident! This guide is something else giving easy to understand instruction in a humorous and light-hearted way without watering down the need-to-know facts on how to write a novel or short story. The book also contains a short story by Raymond Carver – ‘ Cathedral’ which is referred to in throughout the guide.

Covering all aspects of writing fiction, from point of view to reviewing stage the book contains exercises at the end of each subject heading to get the creative juices flowing and to demonstrate the point of each topic.

I thoroughly recommend the Gotham Writer’s Workshop Writing Fiction to all lover’s of writing and it’s process!

I have also just finished re-reading Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This prequel to Jane Eyre is an intense read but also a fascinating look at how Bertha Mason ( a minor character in Jane Eyre that lived in the attic) came to be known ‘as the madwoman in the attic.’

 

P.S Better World Books receives donations of books of any variety from text books to fiction. All money raised through sales goes to literacy programs throughout the world. A great site for buying books and also to help support literacy.

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WHAT I’M EATING

There is nothing better than fresh produce! All that you see here was home grown, pickled and cured. The sushi was the best, it melted in your mouth. This was Sunday lunch with a couple of glasses of champagne – Yum!

 

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WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

 

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A classic album that I’ve been meaning to buy for years. I wasn’t disappointed. This is music that transports you to another world….

Pretty Little Things…. A Tribute to Hayden James’ EP Artwork

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I am really  a sucker for great artwork – mostly on album covers and wine bottles. Now if you think that says a lot about me personally maybe you should think again. Hey c’mon I just really like pretty things and I’m more willing to part with the hard earned when it looks real nice as well as serves some sort of function. You must admit that music and wine do kind of go hand in hand!

 

This cover art on electronic musician, Hayden James self-entitled EP is simply amazing and I do have to say it really influenced my decision to buy the album. I’m not joking. I listened to the tracks but it was the artwork that pulled me in initially.

 

I didn’t own other persuasive knowledge at the time like that, James is on the Future Classic label, a label that also features the artist Flume – whose music has just about rocked everyone’s world who has come in touch with him. Call it intuitive, call it crazy, call it down right stupid if you will. I pick things cos their pretty.

Why are we so attracted to pretty things even when have been beaten down with the old adage;

it’s really what is inside that counts’?

 

Can you just love art for art’s sake? I think you can. We could have a long discussion about Andy Warhol and the commodification of art in the Postmodern Era. But we won’t. I’m just going to own it. Hayden James, the artwork on your album rocks and it looks real pretty next to the Parallel Paradise EP by Hermitude cover in my iTunes. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would my life be more fulfilling if I watched Aussie Rules Football? (A Fiona Apple fan speaks….)

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PHOTO OF FIONA APPLE COURTESY OF PITCHFORK MAGAZINE – ARTIST Kareena Zerefos

I love Fiona Apple. You can listen to her music over and over and over and never get sick of it. I must have listened to Tidal hundreds of times yet it still blows me away upon every listen.  How cannot you not love someone whose song lyrics include:

 When all I do is beg to be loved”.

I think Pitchfork magazine summed up the how, the why and the what of Fiona Apple is in this interview with Carrie Battan.

And, at 34, the singer’s energy is coiled as tightly around a core of human emotion as it was during her Tidal days in the 1990s. She still seems so tethered to pure feeling that she has nothing left to expend on the practical and logistical concerns of the world around her…”

Battan captures for me how I would, if I could describe what Fiona Apple’s album’s are like and the emotional well (if you like) of whence they came. I’m talking like I know Fiona Apple! The scary thing about her is that she puts everything into her music, her heart, her sweat, her life, her energy, her soul and you think you that you do get to know a piece of Fiona Apple. I’m even assuming that I know that much! The truth is probably that the more you think you know of Apple the more she would be there to confound you with a clever contradiction. Yep I really like her a lot. I think she is fascinating. And I guess the reason I like her so much is that she just is who she is. She is this great artist, who you can’t really say you know despite the fact she puts it all out to bare in her albums.

I was at work today. Sometimes I work. I try to work. I do bits and pieces of this and that. This job though was quite a serious one. Temping in an administration role for an accountancy firm. I really enjoyed all the people that worked there. My interview consisted of the Office Manager driving 100 kilometres to meet me for five minutes.  She said:

I don’t believe in interviews

So that was it! I got the job…

Anyways I was at work and my boss gave me his business credit card to buy nespresso pods for the office. I was trying to make light conversation as it was awkward him standing there whilst I went through the many various screens of the Nespresso website. It was his last day before he went on annual leave.

I said: ‘You must be getting excited’.

He then stated in a tone: ‘What? -about the Grand Final?’.

I said: ‘No about going away for annual leave and then I added for good measure ‘that I didn’t like football and didn’t watch it ( so no I didn’t mean the Grand Final).

He then said ( in a very serious way) : ‘Your life would be much better if you followed football’.

I told him: to ‘get over himself – (in a joking kinda non-disrespectful way)’.

To which he stated again: ‘that my life would be a lot better if I followed a team.’ ( he didn’t say that in a joking way at all by the way…)”

So then I came home. Actually I really started to think about what he said the instant he said it. I started thinking would my life be better if watched football and had a team. Went to games and supported my side. Wore a scarf and screamed and shouted when the team got a goal. Was the fact that I didn’t have a team make me an incomplete person? I don’t know, maybe I’m weird. Give me Fiona over football any day. I’m just that kind of gal.

 

Keep Calm and Write Poetry…

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Many of us went through the bad poetry phase during our teenage years.  Most of it was pretty awful. Dark, morbid, badly written. Luckily this expression of angsty  melancholy dissipated with age ( well for most of us anyway). At some point the majority figure out that sitting around and arguing about the colour of curtains – are they peach or pink? Just doesn’t really get you anywhere. Goon and smokes, parents garages, rock classics, the philosophising, the pontificating, the witticisms were a period or at the very least a phase that one grew out of, moved on from.

This has been a really hard post to write. What started out as a kind of review of Coldplay’s song Clocks turned into an adventure into the history of modern literature and poetry. Now how does what I have just written about relate to what I am now writing about? Let me explain. Coldplay? Why? Well I’ve always like Chris Martin’s lyrics. But once I started digging into why one writes what they write in the time in which they write it. I had to embrace the fact that Chris Martin’s lyrics – although they ‘work’ with the music and can be quite cleverly rhymed are really in the context of writing and literature abstract poetry. I call lyrics poetry simply because in Latin the verb ‘poieo’ mean to create.  Lyrics are created and I believe can be some of the most powerful poetry to listen to.

Abstract Poetry was a term popularised by Dame Edith Sitwell in the early 1920’s.  It was actually the Futurists and Dadaists who were the pioneers of sound poetry. Abstract poetry or sound poetry  ‘is verse that makes little sense grammatically and syntactically but relies on auditory patterns to create its meaning and poetic effects.’  That is it sounds good but it doesn’t really mean a hell of a lot.

If you analyse Coldplay’s Clocks it does say something but in a very abstract way. It points to ideas but doesn’t specifically create a narrative. For example:

 Confusion never stops

Closing walls and ticking clocks

Gonna come back and take you home

I could not stop that you now know, singing…..

What does it mean? It could mean a number of things and that is beauty or the downfall of sound/abstract poetry.

Okay so what does that all mean in terms of Clock’s by Coldplay? Does the the abstract nature of their lyrics make them  ( the lyrics)  more versatile and relevant to a broad audience. Maybe that is part of Coldplay’s success. They don’t say much, or what they do say can be interpreted in so many different ways that it has a relevance to a wide group of listeners. Just thinking that that really bad poetry that one used to write may have a place somewhere! Now that I know that it has a proper name and is a real genre of writing there  may be hope for angsty wordsmiths with a penchant for wordplay after all.