Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Light and Colour...

Light projection

I feel like I've been thinking about and talking about colour and the impact that it has on people and their moods and all of that.  I guess it's because I often wear some pretty outrageous and bright colours and it's amazing how many comments I get from people (often strangers) about how much they love it!

As part of the Kew Festival in Melbourne recently, the Kew Court House was engulfed in colour and pattern, during an amazing light projection.  I managed to get down one evening and take a couple of photos of the display and it was stunning!  I should point out that one of my work collegues was responsible for commissioning someone to put the projection together.
Light projection at kew court house

It was great to see people stop in the street and just watch for ages.  There was also plenty of people stopping and pulling out their phones to try and capture it too.  Much of the feedback that was received is just how beautiful and happy it made people.  Visitors would love to see it all year round! (sorry gang, don't think that is going to happen) But it really goes to show how an everyday building, when it becomes part of an unexpected display, really captures people's attention.  The intensity of colour and pattern really made people's day and I'm sure that everyone that saw it has been talking about it.

The display is now over but take my word, it was pretty spectacular!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What's Life without Colour and the Handmade?

#clogs were waiting for me from Sweden!
Ugglebo clogs.

I have become quite addicted to colour over the last few years.  Gone are my Melbourne black uniforms and they have been switched for the crazed impact of colour and pattern.  Colour definitely has a strong impact on your mood and wearing something bright makes me feel happy/sprightly and also seems to make other people around me feel pretty cheery too!

I came home from vacation just a couple of days ago to have my giant box of Ugglebo Clogs awaiting to unwrapped!  I had forgotten which colours I had ordered but I was super happy to see the bright blue, yellow and pink pop out when I unpacked them.  I can't wait to wear them with!

And my sock fits in great! #handmade #marimekko
Toimi bag by Marimekko, handmade sock by  me!

While I was away I picked up this gorgeous tote bag from Marimekko in Cambridge!  It's the Toimi bag and features these great colour blocked pockets and a very comfortable leather handle.  As you can see, the socks that I was knitting over my vacation break, teamed up very well with this bag!

There is something so special about handmade socks, they are soft and a perfect fit for my larger feet.  This is the third pair of socks that I have ever made and I am getting a bit braver with them and I'm even going to attempt a toe-up pair soon! If you are on Ravelry, you can find me and my other knitting adventures, I'm misskittym!  I adore the large stripe mix of this yarn too.

#marimekko ... I could just fall asleep on those cushions!
Marimekko cushions at Crate and Barrel.

So, does colour and the handmade make you happy?  Or do you prefer to mooch about in a chainstore top and drab colours?  Let me know!  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Whirlwind tour of Boston...

My coffee buddy this morning! #boston
Squirrel buddy.

After a fantastic visit to NYC, we headed to Boston for a couple of days to say hi to our friends Bud and Anita.  When you are on vacation, getting on a bus for 4 hours seems like nothing to go and hang out with friends!

Boston is always pretty relaxing for me.  I use the time to chill out, sleep late, hang out in our wonderful hosts house and take in museums and the culinary chowder treats.

I love getting up in the morning at the house, having coffee and looking out to see what animals I can see.  Our first morning in Boston was super warm and there was a solo squirrel sunbacking in the backyard, keeping me company while I drank my cup of Joe.  We also spied some cardinals too, they are so beautiful!  I could watch these little red birds all day.

A bit of vacation knitting!
knit geeking...

I spent my 'spare time' to start knitting a pair of socks with the awesome Knit Picks yarn that I had ordered (and posted to my friend in NYC).  I am such a fan of this yarn now and think that I will be ordering some more before we leave.  A big shout out to the wonderful folk at A Good Yarn Shop in Brookline who always help me out with advice and knitting tips.  Nothing better than knitting while on vacation!

Dodgy snow face in Boston!
getting snowed on, thankfully I brought my ear muffs!

We were also pretty excited to get some real snow in Boston!  We had a few little flurries in NYC but Boston brought a good amount of snow that meant that there was enough to coat the ground and stay there.  There is nothing more special than running your hand through fresh snow, so soft and fluffy and white, before it gets dirty and ick.

And we have snow in Boston
Beautiful Brookline in the snow.

A big thank you to our lovely hosts, Bud and Anita.  As always it was a very comfortable stay with enjoyable dinners (OMG Anita's food is amazing!) and lots of staying up and telling of tales.

#marimekko knitting!
Hanging out, knitting a sock while wearing Marimekko... you know!

We have left lovely Boston for San Francisco, where the weather is promising to be sunny and gorgeous!

American Folk Art Museum

One of my favorite museums in NYC!
The Museum's front doors.

One of my favourite museums in New York is the American Folk Art Museum.  The museum has been going through some financial troubles in recent times and had to close it's main gallery which was located next to MOMA.  This has left the museum based near the Lincoln Centre in a much smaller space but they are still producing fantastic exhibitions and are really engaging with their community.

Folk art cat
Everyone loves a folk art cat.

The current exhibition is 'Jubilation/Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined'.  The curatorial theme looks at ideas of imagination and fantasy in folk art.

Curatorial statement by Senior Curator, Stacy C. Hollander:

Life is not lived in black and white: reality may have the tinge of dreams and dreams an air of reality. This provocative tension exists between the experiential nature of early American folk art and the fantastical imagery it often displays—between what is real and what is imagined. 

The same is true of the work of contemporary self-taught artists, which may introduce unique—and sometimes puzzling—expressions that illuminate the iconoclastic nature that is the flip side of the collective American psyche. The viewer is placed in the peculiar but exhilarating position of deciding for him- or herself whether the artwork expresses a disjuncture with reality or an uninhibited embracing of interior life. After all, what is more true, the picture that looks real or the picture that feels real; the observer or the observed? 

These perceptions shift as new scholarship emerges. Often, real-life roots are discovered for even arcane and esoteric imagery that has already influenced our response to an artist and his work: does this disappoint or satisfy the viewer? Diminish or enhance the creativity of the artist? One need only contemplate the culture- and memory-driven gestures of Martín Ramírez, the impressionistic nineteenth-century portraits by Dr. and Mrs. Shute, and minimalist mid-twentieth-century soot drawings by James Castle to render these distinctions immaterial. Instead the viewer is urged to enjoy the permeable fluidity between art and imagination, dream and belief.

American folk art museum

One of the aspects of folk art that appeals to me is the inventiveness of the artists.  Many of the works are made using very everyday materials.  Artists are creating with whatever they can get their hands on and this sense of urgency is something that draws the viewer in, though sometimes it can be a little manic!

The works are also made with such heart.  You can feel the artists need to produce and to present their feelings to the wider world.  I was taken with some of the self-portrait works, which also interests me in the fine art world too.  However the self portrait works take on more meaning when made from unusual materials, as if the artists has been compelled to say, "I am here, this is me".

If you get the chance to check out the museum and this exhibition, do it!  It is a wonderful museum and they need all the support they can get!

American folk art museum

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Am a Bit of a Knit Geek...

Yeah, when I'm on vacation I love to knit!!! It's one of the only times that I have loads of spare time and I don't feel guilty doing it!

I'm currently knitting some socks... They are cute and stripey!

Oh and I'm in Boston too my blog peeps!

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