Tiny Owl Forest

Boy has it been an eventful few days. I'm not one to seek out adventure, but when you're a musician adventure seems to seek you out, particularly if you're the type of musician who tends to play their fair share of festivals and go on their fair share of tours. 

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I've spent the time just between Christmas and now travelling to Byron Bay Falls festival to play gigs with the Button Collective, finding out my tiny dog noodle went missing and being unable to do anything about it because I was away (It's all good now, she was returned to us by a very kind couple), dropping my partner at the airport, sleeping in a backpackers in surfers paradise so I could do an enormous amount of washing following my tent/possessions getting drenched in a Byron Bay storm, and finally starting the Vanishing Shapes summer tour. 

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These past few weeks have been very up and down, and I miss home a lot (although a bit less now that I'm not on my own anymore) It's interesting seeing these photos so long after I took them, particularly after the home sickness I've been feeling. I remember stressing a lot about the concept of being away from home for a month while taking these, desperately trying to prepare all of the tech items/non tech items I would need to continue my various creative projects as normal. 

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Like this time last year, I'm taking photos of every outfit I'm wearing whilst of tour. It helps me maintain a bit of a schedule, and normality, so stay tuned for that! :) 

In The Zen Garden - Thoughts on repairing things.

I've been having a lot of thoughts recently about our throwaway culture, and about how accessible repairing things is to the average first world human. This has kind of been spurred on by a few repairs I've made to some items that I own which most people wouldn't have bothered with. 

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Obviously to anyone who looks even a teeny tiny bit into it, our consumerist throwaway culture is pretty bad for the environment and human rights. Part of the problem is cheap products that are 1) not made with quality materials, 2) not designed to last and 3) not designed to be repaired (this is particularly evident with technology) The other part of the problem is most people aren't taught the skills they need to be able to repair these products, and when they break, they don't care enough to learn them (because lets be honest, if the zip breaks on your backpack, it's easier to replace the backpack then sew in a new zip) 

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There have been a few tech repairs I've made this year, namely replacing the headphone output in my Ipod Classic. The ipod had a problem where sound would only come out of one earphone. It was a known issue on the device, and made significant financial sense to replace the headphone jack than buy a new ipod. (The spare part was about $30, and a "New ipod" runs about $180 if you're lucky) 

Nick took this photo :D

Nick took this photo :D

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I'm glad I opted to replace the jack - I saved money, I didn't create e waste, and I learned a valuable skill, but, it was a really tricky repair. It was fiddly and complicated, and in the process I managed to break the lock button. There were several moments I thought I broke the device, not to mention it took me half an hour to crack open the shell. 

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I understand why companies are increasingly making it difficult to repair things (means more $$$ for them) But ethically, every single member of society owes it to the our earth and long term survival to do as much as we can to repair and reuse rather than repurchase and throw away. 

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Anyway,  that's the end of my ramble about repairing things and consumerist throwaway culture. CHANGE OF TOPIC: I shot all these photos with Nick in the Japanese Garden at the East Gosford Art Gallery

Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Home Made, Belt: Alannah Hill, Tights: don't remember, Shoes: Gift

Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Home Made, Belt: Alannah Hill, Tights: don't remember, Shoes: Gift

If you live on the Central Coast (or if you find yourself here for an extended period) and you haven't visited the gardens and gallery, you're missing out. It's such a lovely spot. There are koi, (that you can feed!) there are ducks, there are well manicured trees and more recently, there are sculptures that had been sculped by a modern Japanese sculptor. 

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It really is a little slice of heaven. I have so many fond memories of visiting the garden as a youngster. I took a number of art classes there. It's really great that the garden is so well looked after. Hopefully it will outlast me. :) 

Finally, here's a christmas carol my friend Laura and I recorded. She's been doing a daily carol advent on her facebook page because christmas is fun! 

Old Granny Chair

I have a blister. 

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Now, ordinarily this wouldn't be a big deal. I'd ignore the pain and get on with my day, feeling a little grouchy that walking hurts, but, this blister isn't in the usual spot (the back of my heal). It,s on my left hand index finger, right at the very tip.  

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You're probably (not) wondering how one gets a blister in such an unusual place (unless you play a string instrument, then you'll know instantly). 

I may have played too much ukulele. I definately played too much ukulele. 

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You would never think that ukulele's would be blister causing houses of pain, but they are. My fingertip is proof. 

It came as a surprise that one could receive such an injury. Sure, my string friends have complained of blisters, but they play "proper" instruments with steel strings. This was just a tiny cute innocent ukulele. 

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Don't get me wrong, you can injure yourself playing flute too (I have some first hand experience there) but I can't think of a single instance a flautist has played themselves into a blister. (Thinking of it, if you know someone who has, let me know! I'm genuinely interested to know how that would happen!) 

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Anyway, lets use that as a semi awkward segway: I recorded a new video today. A sweet little ditty called Avalon. I did some singing, and some tute-ing on all three of my bohem system flutes, as well as some sub par (but fun for me) ukulele. 

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To sound like  a bit of an artistic wanker for a small moment, I've really been enjoying diversifying my skill set. When I did the recording/video editing process today I understood a little bit more about the process/software off the bat AND I learned a bunch of new things! I'm in no way brilliant, but I'm getting better yo! 

 

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Time's a flying

I blinked at the end of June, and now it's August. Somehow a little over a month has felt like a week, and during this time I have been neglecting my sewing and my blog. I don't really every talk about trying to grow my blog, but up until March this year I was quite focused on trying to make it grow. Right now though, with all of the offline stuff I've got going on I'm just content to keep it alive and kicking. 

Lets take a moment to appreciate how perfectly this doggo photobombed my outfit shoot. 

Lets take a moment to appreciate how perfectly this doggo photobombed my outfit shoot. 

So, you may (or may not) be wondering what's been up for the past month. I went on tour with Vanishing Shapes. We played Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Bello, the Blue mountains and Newcastle. It was a crazy fun journey of making music, driving long distances and being silly. I recorded with Bread and Seaweed at Turtle Rock Studios, which was a 10/10 good time. We did half an ep (3 songs) in two days, (which if you've ever recorded before is absolute madness. Also been gigging a little with The Button Collective

When I'm not makin the musics I'm either painting or watching netflix. The stuff I've been painting has recently taken a deeper turn down the surrealism path, mixing spacey planets with other things, such as heads and ships etc. 

I also turned 23, which isn't a particularly unusual thing, but feels quite strange. Somehow, not unlike the last month, I blinked and a bunch of time disappeared, leaving me feeling like I've done everything and nothing, and simultaneously changed a whole bunch and not at all. It's a weird place to be in, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but everythings holding itself together, so I'm fine. 

Speaking of real life shenanigans, if you're in the Newcastle area tomorrow, Shapes have a gig! It starts at like 7:30 ish at the Wesley Hall (downstairs from the commons). It should be pretty chill, and we have enough time to play pretty much our whole program, so yeah! Fun fun Shapes Times.   

Silver Bells

I recently gave in and subscribed to Photoshop Creative Cloud so I could shoot RAW, and by gosh, RAW is incredible. Like, the internet always talks about how great it is, but I didn't believe it till I saw it, and now I've seen it. 

For those of you who don't do the photography thing, DSLR's shoot (basically) in two modes: Jpeg and RAW. When you shoot Jpeg, the picture quality isn't as good and you don't have as much control in the editing process. You get to control everything with RAW.

The only downside is that because the file size (and my SD cards with shitty write speed) my camera takes less shots per second shooting continuously compared to Jpeg. (So, I'll probably still shoot Jpeg for my "normal blog type stuff") 

I made this skirt last night as well. I've been thinking about making a scallop hem circle skirt for a while, and decided to pull the trigger when I happened upon this silver wetsuit type knit. 

Sewing this made me realise I kind of need to get a walking foot. I was going to attach the bauble trim I've got around the waist around the edge of the scallops as well, but couldn't do it with just my basic foot attachment. (I mean, I could have tried, but I value my sleep more than I wanted a pom pom trim)