Oh, blogjune! I have neglected you as both a lover and friend, but I have caught up on your 684 (!?) posts . I wonder if I could squeeze 16 days of posts into a single one – a good idea that’s already been done (for 3 days) by Thomas and Blake.
Anyway, I spent some of my non-blogjune time on holiday in Adelaide with not much internet access.
Sometimes being quiet is good, and powerful – something else is making the words, or perhaps using up the allocation. If you search for “Sorry we’ve been quiet lately!” – there are so many results! It’s okay not to add to it, there’s enough. Brings to mind artist Danielle Freakley’s The Quote Generator where she only spoke in stolen quotes for years (which reminds me I’d like to see a movie on a similar theme: And Now a Word From Our Sponsor). If you see her performance on Enough Rope – the lesson could be the importance of life dates in serials?
My favourite post from my mega reading cramming was Margaret’s post seeking book donations, and the story behind reinvigorating the library at Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy (California):
“Will you donate a book? A real book. Something literary or fun – something that speaks to your truth, their truths. …help us to build a library we can be proud of. Just one book.”
I wonder if the blogjuners (junebloggers?) in Australia could work together to organise a parcel – or am I making this overcomplex, would it be better to purchase online and just use their shipping address? Hmm. Considering which books to send!
Apart from my blogjune guilt, I was trying to conjure up a post about gloves (it’s cold here! I guess that counts enough for inspiration – or desperation?). I couldn’t find any matching ones in the wardrobe – which probably says something about my clothing information management?
Bereft of gloves, I rediscovered this trio of socks which were handknitted by my Grandma. It’s a weird thing to be given 3 specially-made socks, but she reasoned to me that:
1. I wear odd socks
2. I am likely to lose socks (I’m not sure where that came from – after all, I still have all these ones).
3. There was just the right amount of wool left to make a third sock, and what else could she have made? (perhaps some undies, but I didn’t feel it was worthwhile to argue).
I miss her very much, and I love the fact that she wanted to risk-manage my sock habits.
As you can see, our Mr Cat rather likes them (or just wants to be a blogjune feature cat like ‘Scuse me and Purrkins, Maggie, Shadow Norton and mysterious). And yes, it’s another cat photo, continuing just the same as where I began this year’s blogjune!
A sock fancier – sounds like a wonderful and outdated career choice?
Reference: George, E. (9 January 2007). Artist happy to talk up witty project. Mx (News section), 2, accessed via EBSCOhost.
Starting blogjune a few days late (or perhaps very early for blogjune 2017) with a cat photo. Even though I feel like this is a cop out, akin to Mean Girls:
“…and you can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week. So I guess you picked today.”
I’m not super clear about my goals for this year’s blogjune, I think it’s my fourth round (you can see this year’s participants on Peta’s post). I know the aim is to post every day of the month, and to learn from everyone participating in the challenge. I hoped to have some sort of theme – I was thinking of posting a vegan burger a day, so I ate one a day for the first 3 days of June. Then my friend E highlighted that it was going to be a super expensive endeavour. From this, I think my posts will be unthemed, as the theme. Even though I reckon I could eat 30 burgers in a month, so that can be a future investment goal.
If you aren’t wearing glasses and this is blurry, don’t worry, I have not posted a picture of my pink bits and turned my head backwards. I’m gearing up for the unofficial Gywneth Paltrow “who is more alternative” competition by trying cupping therapy, just like Kristen. Although I admit I might be not super punctual to this boss battle.
The headlines in 2004 declared “Wacky Gwyneth Paltrow is in the spotlight …sporting bizarre circular marks on her back.” Weirdly, I can remember the media uproar. Just think, she was researching for goop all the way back then, on how to achieve a workplace that is “…casually ethereal…”.
I find the goop language really interesting, in terms of “positioning as expert”, something that we could learn from (just the marketing aspect!), to promote library expertise and resources. Although the sniffing at crowd-sourcing is pretty grating, but makes sense when they are pushing the “homespun riche” element:
“…a fully-formed lifestyle site… …a place where readers can find suggestions… …from a trusted friend – not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.”
I showed my cupping marks to my friend, who said I had bad huang (wind), and unfortunately Mr. Sonja agreed. But in all seriousness, I’m excited to be following up on health treatments (including acupuncture) and start detoxing my life. I’ve found Ruby’s soul detox to be a good motivator and cause for contemplation, as a way to frame the beginning of positive habits and healing.
The feeling of the first cup was like I didn’t have enough skin, or maybe it was a renegade sucker attachment from Species II. Is that the right movie? I went to the initial acupuncturist appointment just to ask about the impact of piercings on energy centres, but I felt like I should actually get some acupuncture done at the same time, so that it wasn’t just a costly random question (and to combat the possibility of seeming strange). Sometimes I find these things happen, because getting involved a bit more, is bound to be less awkward than having a pretend appointment? I guess it’s a health version of While you were sleeping. A red herring that becomes an actual fish dinner, if that makes sense.
I am dreadful at pairing movie scenes with their titles (which is why I do a yearly read/watched roundup), I thought this one happened in She’s out of my league, but wherever it was from, it fits: A guy working in a fast food chain has a crush on an airline reservations agent. He tries to talk with her (at her counter desk) and ends up accidentally booking a plane trip to Poland. That’s me. I am the burger guy. In an awkwardness and obligation sense, but sometime I’ll be the eating-a-burger-every-day person too.
Reference: Thomas Whitaker, S.R. (n.d., circa 2004). Shakespeare in love bites?. Sun, The. Retrieved from Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, 4 June 2016.
The kitty residents are delightful – some very inquisitive and playful, balanced by more sedate “don’t touch me” cats. The new policy about restricting children should also be extended to those who are Cat person versus Cat person person. What does this mean? It’s the difference between people that like cats, and people who understand how to interact with other people who also like cats. It’s having an apprecation of whether someone wants quiet time or wants to play (being considerate about animals’ needs as well as the other people there).
The main rooms can be quite busy with people depending on whether they’ve been booked out for that time slot (you enter on the hour). I didn’t really want to hang out with other cat people, I came for the cats – so I slunk off into another room and sat with the cats who don’t like others (we had lots in common – Clara and Lynx were the best).
We were relaxing together, and then another lady came along with her fancy noisy feather toy, waved it at the cat in my lap, then they ran off together into the sunset. She totally cut my [cat]grass, like I was lying on the beach telling my life story to the man of my dreams and a distracting vapid bikini type walked past. Of course the cat ran away of their own enticed will, but that lady should have been sensitive enough to realise that we were already having a nice time without her prying.
It’s okay, I won in the end because I found some cat toys behind the couch which were very exciting for all the residents. It occurred to me that perhaps I’m more of a cat than Cat person or Cat person person.
Of course you visit for the cats more than for the drinks (‘more cat playroom than cafe…’), I understand that this will change with the menu expanding in the future. Hopeful that they’ll have something like the delicious-looking high teas at London’s Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium or the organic local fare at Paris’ Le Café des Chats.
Some of the cats are also getting wise to photo shoots and offering their preferred poses – this photo from Rachel is very similar to mine above. If the cats had some glamour shoots, I think people would buy good-quality photos. Australia’s first vegan B&B, Bed & Broccoli, already does this by selling prints of some of their animal residents.
It would also be great if you could buy drinks as 1 for the price of 2, with the price of the ‘suspended coffee’ going towards all the cats or a cat of your choice (their very own tip jars). This could be tracked with donation boxes featuring each of the cats (the boxes could be mounted on the wall so the cats could climb on them, similar to perches featured in this article). Each cat could sponsor another cat currently in a shelter.
I’d recommend a visit to the Cat Cafe, I was lucky as a walk-in, but it’s best to book ahead.
Happy last day of blogjune! Not much to say today, my arms are tired from yoga and not typing very quickly. See Mr Cat who is so hard to capture – he moves right after being in the perfect position.
Mr Cat is very sweet with his WWF friend – not the former wrestling organisation. If it had to be about wrestling, I would be talking about Sheamus because of the pale appropriateness of his movie role as a Celtic Warrior Zombie.
However, because our small feline friend is from the World Wildlife Fund, it’s probably more appropriate to mention the WWF footprint calculator. It’s easy and interactive, and you can track your scores. I’m embarrassed to say that my footprint 3 years ago was 3.3 (that’s how many planets we need to support life, if everyone had the same lifestyle as me). I’ve reduced it down to 1.7ish, depending on how much processed food I eat. The difference has been in changing my transport options (daily and holiday), changing eating habits and becoming vegan, and buying less stuff. In terms of stuff, I don’t actually have many stuffed toys – this one was a gift – but I did receive another present this week, a plush turtle with a tag “Turtley awesome”. I keep it on my desk for the tag alone. Our pets would have more of a footprint than the toys, there is probably a market out there for “greening your cat”.
You can also calculate your water footprint (Water Footprint Network). I don’t really understand my score, but the questions are revealing – I need to do the obvious things like upgrading plumbing/shower heads and get an efficient dishwasher.
Congratulations everyone on reaching the end of June! I look forward to next year, particularly to see how everyone has progressed on their dreams and footprints.
Mr Cat and his new friend – Ms Measuring Mouse.
The secret is in her tail, which pulls out to reveal a measuring tape which was tightly furled in her abdomen like an anaemic fern decorated with standard units (each line an intestinal villus), the golden ratio of ratios.
Ms Measuring Mouse has been in our family for a long time, I’m lucky to have her. Otherwise I take a “good enough google” MacGyver type approach to measurements for buying clothes online. This involves using headphone cords (or anything else vaguely stringy, measuring my waist, then comparing the length to that of the online ruler.
There have been less regrets since Ms Mouse has taken up her role of Chief Cm ” Documentation Officer.
At today’s yoga class, our teacher spoke about layers of being, the perfectness of the self but with the potential to develop. My being and aura is layered with cat hair, even my gym clothes. Someone said, it’s more important to cuddle your pets than to have a tidy house and clothes.
How can it be lonely people glitter when it’s a sign that you have animal friends? The fur is everywhere anyway. Probably a washing machine filter issue. I used to despair at the mounds and dust bunnies of cat hair – I could even make a third cat every time I empty our vacuum cleaner. The advances in household cleaning appliances were meant to save time, but they’ve made us more time poor as cleaning standards have heightened. C says it’s not just about “Better homes & gardens”, but “Better homes than yours”. We are all juggling a million cats (Webb in Rendle-Short’s talk).
Cat hair can be inspirational. Artist Marina Neilson made work with the couch her cats shredded but also used their fur to trace a house silhouette. You can see an installation shot on page 6 of the Trouble catalogue.
And a Monday special, bonus spider!
This little friend was in the hallway – to reduce the hazard of spider smashed on light switch, I put him outside. I hope he will be okay. Most likely now has a spider layer of cat hair (the tiniest fur coat ever) to scare the rest of the arachnid neighbourhood.
Back in the day if you had a ravenous appetite for cute pictures, you were kind of stuck with joke books or terrible Anne Geddes baby photo albums. This was pre-lolcats, and I desperately wanted some squee in my life. I had lofty goals of a friendship with a cat or puppy, but I had to settle on having the Addams family equivalent: some dead grasshoppers in a matchbox (it was their little bed, pimped out with some comfy tissues). I used to pat them but they weren’t very interactive. True story.
Now that I have 2 cats (don’t worry they are not the matchbox type), I sometimes borrow cat-related books in the hope that they might read them with me or be impressed that there are cats on the cover. I once knew a kitten who thought a large cat on a calendar was challenging his territory so he attacked it. The calendar fell over.
This is a recent loan – I think the recipe titles give the impression that the person is cooking a cat to eat. Or is that just me?
And for balance, ye olde loldogs! (there were overarching photographer credits in the frontispiece, I’m sorry I’m unsure who took these ones) This is a 1977 book on feeding pets, I like all the different words for animal-like human behaviour.
Carter, Jean S. & Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Great Britain). (1977). Living with a gourmet pet : a most unusual bedside cookbook. [Burwood, Vic.] : Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Toshack, Marie. (1997). The kitty cafe : healthy, easy to prepare, homemade food for your cat. Sydney : Hodder Headline
I toiled away in the heat today, for a harvest of potatoes and some fetid compost. The plants could have kept going for a little while, but the hot spell had made them faint in their enclosure. I couldn’t contain my anticipation as I dismantled the “cat-proof” fence. Witness Ms. Cat’s squinty-eyed disapproval of the boundary line.
The cats did work out how to get in through a gap, but the wire was still better protection than last year’s attempt to grow potatoes in a tractor tyre. Those plants lost the will to live after Mr. & Ms. Cat both thought it was a pleasantly private place to attend to their needs. After that we called it the “shittery” because it was a horrible wreath of awful. Understandably the plants preferred the great nursery in the sky. Later I read theories about tyre chemicals leaching into the ground, so I washed the tyre and gave it to a friend for her dog (not as a toilet, you attach hessian on the top to make a hammock).
It was quite exciting to discover all the potatoes hiding under the sugarcane mulch like savoury easter eggs. I scrabbled through the ground like a mole and continued the excavation, there were so many layers like dirt chocolate with crunchy bits (my favourite pre-veg*n chocolate was Bertie beetle which had similar textural surprises).
I had been told that piling up the mulch near the potato plants would make it easier to harvest. Lies! Although this shouldn’t be considered a thorough scientific study as all our plants grew from potato scraps in the compost. It was sheer luck they were in roughly the same area to make for convenient fencing.
I made a great find with four sprouted avocado seeds! I put them in a container for the windowsill. I just checked them – they haven’t grown anymore, but a worm had hidden inside one of them during the 8 hours since the relocation. Protip – leave the avocado seeds on the edge of your garden to give any earthworms the chance to crawl out. I’ll have to see if he’s vacated the premises in the morning. There are more instructions on growing avocado plants on Australian avocados site. I always feel tempted to write “avocadoes”, like a deer herd of green fruit.
The reason we let the potatoes go was because we planted tomatoes two years in a row, and I freaked out about crop rotation. Some of the tomatoes didn’t know they were banned this year so they still woke up. Of course I didn’t realise that potatoes and tomatoes are family, so that was a bit of a waste of time. Anyway, we grew tomatoes in pots this year. Compared to our past bounties, this year’s crop has been quite disappointing. The heat is sort of an excuse, but there are a lot of other gardens in Canberra that have done better.
Mr. & Ms. Cat have reached their own goals for the season, having killed 2 ½ cucumber plants (the third was mostly killed by the heat), 2 zucchini plants and at least several potato plants. How are they so nefarious? They like to dig, or just squash a plant by sitting on top: “It was in my spot”.
You can see Ms. Cat likes to guard the stump near the black zucchini, “the last of his kind”. She’s a pirate cat with a pegleg on each front paw. Miaowyarr.
The ARLIS/ANZ ACT chapter were very lucky to visit the studio of Caren Florance: book maker/designer, artist and letterpress printer. Caren collaborates with writers and artists to produce traditional printing adventures (fine press volumes, chapbooks and broadsheets) and the less conventional (zines, mail art, artist’s books and digital works). Florance’s personal practice is undertaken through Ampersand Duck, “a private press with a twist based in Canberra” (Ampersand Duck (April 2008). Snail Mail One, p. .).
Finding the stories and process behind Caren’s beautiful letterpress creations was a revelation and rekindled the joy of touching deckle-edged, feathery papers of her books. Poetry married page through traditional printing, from heavily embossed imposed words to letters gently kissing the surface of the paper leaving ink remnants and memories. We saw works at the zygote stage with setting the letters and proofing, through to completed bound books with poetry by Rosemary Dobson and a typeset artist book with linocuts by G.W. Bot and poems by Anne Kirker.
Caren also supports emerging artists through the Ampersand Duck Broadside Residency, by providing graduating students an opportunity to work in the studio and produce an edition of prints using handset letterpress. The studio is filled with work in progress by the residents, as well as completed books and prints by established artists. Nicci Haynes, an artist friend, has condensed the whole of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake – you can see it in the poster behind the cat below. Sadly we didn’t get to meet the other cats on this occasion.
We are delighted that many posters, artist’s books, zines (and even more!) made by Ampersand Duck are held at the National Library – they are also in other public and private collections nationally and internationally. One of the zines even has a view of Studio Duck, compare it with the photo from our visit (at the top):
Thank you Caren for welcoming us to your studio and providing an insight into your working process. We look forward to having more artist studio visits during our 2014 program.
During our Hawai’i ceremony, I felt breathless like the Cure’s Love Song, the sun shone through the leafy canopy and the forest so kindly bore witness.
I walked towards him at the waterfall, the celebrant said the words, and my partner gave the most wonderful and thoughtful vows. We exchanged leis which were made with an orchid called “Sonia” (purely a coincidence!).
Thank you to Frieda Gayle, such a wonderful and thoughtful celebrant, who even hiked to several areas to find the perfect place and really did organise everything!
Many thanks to Shawna Lee for taking us to the rainforest and the beach, and for your heartfelt hula and beautiful photographs. We couldn’t have asked for a more magical ceremony, and we are so grateful for all your assistance.
Yesterday we had a family celebration at a rural property in a Canberra valley, with thanks to Leonie for letting us picnic and croquet on her lawns. It was lovely to share a quasi-wedding experience with my family, as our Hawai’i ceremony was really an announced elopement.
My dodgy photos won’t do justice to the beautiful flowers and food, so I’ll link to Leonie’s professional photos when they’re available. I’m looking forward to seeing the family photos, but I’m a bit worried about the couple ones, as being photographed is one of our areas for improvement.
It was a very relaxed affair, but I think that’s because everyone contributed towards the day – there was even a gift of a hand-built deck in our backyard, so we’ll always remember this moment in time when we play on it. We also had a nice moment opening cards from overseas family, who also sent a traditional Norwegian spoon for sharing porridge. I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of the food before it started being demolished (a good testament for vegan catering!) and melting in the sun –it was also amazing that the layered cake survived the trip in the bouncy Terraplane.
Mum organised all the details – making the cardboard table pad, stamping the cutlery napkins, finding tableware and furniture, even down to hand-quilting a hot pink rug. Intense! I think it stems from her project management expertise. I am so thankful for her caring and organised nature and to spend this special moment together.
We forgot to bring our board games (carcassonne and dominion), but my father and brothers had set up a croquet lawn, so we enjoyed pretending to be in Wonderland. Somehow one of the brothers Barfoed managed to break one of the mallets, I didn’t realise it was such a violent sport.
It was nice to see all the furry cows and hear the kookaburras’ songs. There was a spot in the forest that reminded us of our ceremony spot in Hawai’i, a funny connection between such different landscapes.
You can see below, Mr. Cat on my veil (made by Effie Dee), and the largest earring contains one of my Grandma’s gallstones. She always said they should be made into earrings (my previous post provides context), so artists Lan Nguyen-Hoan and Tarn Smith have been transforming them with silver. When the series is complete I’ll share better pictures. It was really gratifying to fulfil my Grandma’s wishes and feel like she attended, in a way.
We had a wonderful experience at the ceremony and the picnic, and I am so glad that we both decided to speed-date on that fateful night so many years ago.
Our excellent (and of course highly recommended) facilitators:
Celebrant: Frieda Gayle, first listing on Kauai directory
Driver, photographer, hula dancer: Shawna Lee
Hair & make-up: Chelle at Koloa Town Salon & Day Spa
Marriage paperwork and local advice: Ellen at The Wine Shop Kauai
Pizzas: Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers
Post-ceremony art exhibition enjoyment: Galerie 103
For both events:
Tux t-shirt: Millie at T-Bar Canberra Centre
Gloves: inherited from Grandma
Shoes: second-hand online
For Canberra picnic:
Gallstone jewellery: Lan Nguyen-Hoan & Tarn Smith
Hair & make-up: Jess and Anne at Rhubarb & me
Flowers: Anna at The Snail & Petal
Wedding cake: Nie-kiewa at The Cake Cabinet
Vegan picnic catering: Gabby at Veganarchy
Photography (beautiful pictures to come, the ones above are my dodgy ones) and venue: Leonie at Snowgum Studio
Tusen takk! xxx
I’m not sure, but I think our cats know of our Hawaii elopement plans. We are leaving today and they are treating us with suspicion and disdain. More than usual. I do hope they like our housesitter.
I’m relieved that things are mostly organised for our Canberra wedding picnic, even though it’s a few months away. This is in contrast to our “plan when we get there” Hawaii ceremony in a couple of days. I have the dress, shoes, veil, jewellery and gloves. I inherited the gloves (as well as a jar of gallstones) from my Grandma a few years ago, it was quite emotional to go through the bag of gloves and think that we were holding hands through time. I miss her a lot.
I found a hot pink remote controlled helicopter, but didn’t find a good spy camera (as an attachment) to undertake the wedding photography. So I might find a real life spy but this could be too derivative of Sophie Calles’ The Shadow (1981).
Effie Dee, a splendid (and very patient) artist, made my wonderful veil with spare fabric from my dress, with a clay portrait of Mr Cat. I wanted to have a photo of one of my cats wearing the veil so they felt more included before we abandon them, but they were uncooperative. So impetuous. Im-PET-uous. Ms Cat is trying to charm for attention in the background, and Mr Cat is being unimpressed with me, or sniffing the netting? Or it is a two-headed cat.
This week, my work team sent me off with a great surprise morning tea resplendent with inflatable palm tree. Vicki drew this pineapple on the whiteboard and everyone was wearing very kitsch grass skirts and leis, and the table was covered in vegan food (everywhere you looked, it was themed, even the printer wore a skirt. They would be great wedding planners). I had been told it was a “mandatory work meeting” so of course I was freaking out that it was something bad, and then I saw the team dancing in Hawaiian shirts. Quite unexpected! My social awkwardness in being surprised (but of course, very grateful and touched!) reinforced to me that our plans for private ceremonies are the absolute best thing to do.
I’ve been looking forward to the holiday, but it’s like a time lapse video of a plant growing, it’s mainly just shaky and I will feel happier when it blooms into the actual holiday. I hope to see the Bishop Museum’s Lego exhibition and the Hawaiian Hall, and to gaze at the stars at Mauna Kea. I will send the cats a postcard so they don’t feel excluded.
I’m excited to be part of the liedekijn group exhibition which will be held at the Front Gallery, Canberra, from 26 March – 8 April 2013. Each artwork will tell a different part of The Song of Heer Halewijn, so you’ll get to move around the gallery and read the story.
The part of the story that I’m drawing is when Machteld first sees Halewijn in the forest, she has been lured by the music of Halewijn’s lute. Enchanted by the spell, she embraces him – despite being surrounded by hanging bodies in the trees, his previous hapless victims.
As you can see, my Miss Cat is unimpressed by my efforts thus far, below her you can see a large lute which I’m thinking about floating somewhere in the air (as Machteld and Halewijn are embracing, it is tricky to incorporate this instrument). You can also see Halewijn’s muscular legs (surrounded by cape and resplendent with pointy cuffed shoes), it almost looks like Miss Cat has squashed him like in Lady Cottington’s pressed fairy book.
The liedekijn artworks from the exhibition are also being made into a full colour artbook – the fairytale has been translated from the olde Dutch so this will accompany the artworks.
You can preorder this limited edition book via the liedekijn bigcartel site. Today is the last day for discounted preorders!
Some of the works in progress are on the bigcartel site, plus the images are being updated on the artists page of the liedekijn site. There’s additional information about the artbook and exhibition on the general liedekijn site.
The story has a dark beauty but it might make you hesitant to venture into the woods!