Category Archives: Social Networking


I came across this amazing Cube whilst surfing the internet. And thought I’d share it with you. You might be thinking “Hey, it looks like THAT Cube from the Hellraiser movies!” It certainly contains a lot of surprises, but no, it is the brainchild of Andreas Hoenigschmid.

The website is
When you’re at the website, select “HyperQBS” from the dropdown list on the right. It gives you an explanation of what the Cube is. You can also purchase Cubes from the site itself. There are several videos within the site, showing how the cubes work. Highly recommended, if you like to be awed.

Watch “Single Cube” on YouTube

If you think 1 Cube is good, wait til you watch 4 Cubes in action!

Watch “Cube Transformations” on YouTube

Photo of Andreas Hoenigschmid with some of his Cubes:


I want one! No, I want them all!

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My Art Abandonment Project “REMNANTS” Part 2

Following on from my post yesterday, here’s what’s developed between then and now. (I try to get ahead of myself by a number of posts, so I don’t always write in sequence, and even if you read 2 posts one after the other, they may have been written a week or more apart, as is the case with this).

I had some stamps that I wanted to use on my cards, however as I’d spray varnished the surface of the artwork already, my stamping inks simply slid off. Ok…now what? I decided to try washi taping the borders of the cards instead, to give them a more handcrafted look.







Ok, those look good enough to go. I’ve adhered a printed tag on the backs and also on the envelopes, explaining what the Art Abandonment Project is about.

Now all I need is a kick in the proverbial to get out there and start leaving them at random places for people to find!

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My Art Abandonment Project “REMNANTS” PART 1

A little while back, I wrote about the Art Abandonment Project. And I decided to have a go at abandoning Art myself.

I bought a set of 5 brown blank cards and string envelopes from my local KMart. I think it cost me under $5. I have always loved those envelopes which you secure not by licking a gummed flap but instead twist the attached string in a figure 8 around a circular brad.

I don’t usually create my art in a square format, so I didn’t have any real pieces to fit the square cards. What I did have an abundant supply of, however, were many prints on tissue paper that I had rejected because of imperfections in the printing process itself. Meaning streaks, smudges, incomplete prints, inaccurately lined up prints, prints where the colours of the inks had run, prints where the tissue was torn in places. These are what I would use on the blank cards. Waste not, want not.

Plus, I also had to hand a number of embellishments and stamps that I could use to spice up my handmade cards.

imageFirstly, I spread acrylic gel medium over the front of the card blanks, then adhered my tissue prints to them.

imageI then cut around the card and put aside the cast-offs. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a use for them…as gift tags, perhaps?

imageHere they are, with their extra bits chopped off ;-).

imageAnd here they are with their corresponding envelopes. I’ve put one in and done the figure-8 bit to close the envelope, just to show you. There’s another card inserted halfway into its envelope.

imageThese are the 5 cards I’ll be abandoning. I shall seal them with a coat or two of spray varnish. I’ve already printed off some Art Abandonment tags onto watercolour paper and vellum, which I will use on the envelopes, so that the lucky recipient of my Abandoned Art understands what it is all about.

To be continued in Part II next.

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Early this morning, my radar picked up an unusual signal. It emanated from a place called the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). What an intriguing, exotic name! (No, NOT the Flying Spaghetti Monster). Why had I never heard of it before?


Ever since I started my blog a year ago, I’ve been watching my Statistics page and keeping track of where my readers are from. Whenever I see a new country, I make sure to add it to my growing list in my post on Statistics.

As I said, I’d never heard of the Federated States of Micronesia until this morning. Being naturally curious, and the armchair anthropologist that I am, I promptly consulted the almighty Google.

Wow, what an amazing geography, history, people and culture! ❤❤❤
All photos courtesy of Google images.


The following information has been taken from the official “Visit Micronesia” website: FSM



The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a grouping of 607 small islands in the Western Pacific about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, lying just above the Equator. Generally speaking, the FSM comprises what is known as the Western and Eastern Caroline Islands.
While the country’s total land area amounts to only 270.8 square miles, it occupies more than one million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, and ranges 1,700 miles from West (Yap) to East (Kosrae) . Each of the four States centers around one or more “high islands,” and all but Kosrae include numerous atolls.
Yap State is made up of 4 large islands, 7 small islands and 134 atolls, with a total land area of 45.6 square miles. Chuuk State has a total land area of 49.2 square miles and includes seven major island groups. Pohnpei State has 133.4 square miles of land area, of which 130 is accounted for by Pohnpei island, the largest in FSM. Kosrae is essentially one high island of 42.3 square miles.
The islands of the FSM are the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago resulting in islands and atolls of incredible variety. Some are tips of mountain peaks thrust above the surface and now surrounded by fringing reefs. Others are atolls — islands that have sunk beneath the surface, leaving a ring of coral barrier reef and tiny island islets encircling a coral and sand lagoon. And, still others, are mixtures of atolls and high rigged islands within a lagoon.



The FSM enjoys a tropical climate, with relatively even, warm temperatures throughout the year.
The climate in the FSM averages 80° F year round, with highs in the high 80s and lows in the high 70s. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer months. The rainfall on each island varies, however, so check with the local visitor authority for anticipated dry and wet seasons. Trade winds come mainly from the northeast from December through June. Light tropical clothing is the norm year ’round in the FSM.
Pohnpei reputedly is one of the wettest places on Earth, with some locations on the interior of the island receiving up to 330 inches of rain per year. The trade wind season generally occurs from December to March.



English is the official language of the government and of commerce.
Eight major indigenous languages spoken: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaians, Chuukese, Pohnpeians, Kosraeans, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi.
Many elderly people are fluent in Japanese.



The people of the FSM are classified as Micronesians, although some inhabitants of Pohnpei State are of Polynesian origin. They are actually a heterogeneous mixture with different customs and traditions bound together by recent history and common aspiration.
The cultural diversity is typified by the existence of eight major indigenous languages, although English remains the official language of commerce. The cultural similarities are indicated by the importance of traditional extended family and clan systems found on each island.
Each of the State has developed unique cultural characteristics which are important to the potential outsiders especially those interested in visiting or investing in the islands. In Kosrae State, the Congregational Church plays an extremely important role in everyday life while in Chuuk, clan relationships remain an important factor. Yap continues as the most traditional society in the FSM with a strong caste system.
Over the last 15 years Pohnpei has rapidly developed as the most westernized state in the nation. This results in large part because the national government is located here. At the same time, traditional leadership continues to play an important role.
Over much of the last 40 years, the growth rate of population in the FSM has exceeded 3% per annum and the current rate of national increase remains high. However, since the Compact of Free Association was signed out-migration of about 2% of the population occurs each year, effectively lowering the growth rate to about 1%.
The population structure is heavily weighted in favor of the youth, and it is expected that the 15-24 age group will account for 50% of the population increase in this decade.



The people of the FSM are culturally and linguistically Micronesian, with a small number of Polynesians living primarily on Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi atolls of Pohnpei State. The influence of European and Japanese contacts is also seen.
It can be said that each of the four States exhibits its own distinct culture and tradition, but there are also common cultural and economic bonds that are centuries old. For example, cultural similarities are evidenced in the importance of the traditional extended family and clan systems found on each island.
Although united as a country, the people are actually a heterogeneous mixture with different customs and traditions bound together by recent history and common aspirations. The cultural diversity is typified by the existence of eight major indigenous languages, and its peoples continue to maintain strong traditions, folklore and legends.
The four states of the FSM are separated by large expanses of water. Prior to Western contact, this isolation led to the development of unique traditions, customs and language on each of the islands.
English is the official language, and there are eight major indigenous languages of the Malayo-Polynesian linguistic family spoken in the FSM: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi.
There is a rich oral history. Part of this history is a unique musical heritage. The traditional music is carried forward from generation to generation, although upon tuning into the local radio station the visitor is far more likely to hear the distinctive sounds of Micronesian pop music, which has also developed its own character from state to state. Influenced obviously by traditional music, the FSM’s pop music also draws from influences as diverse as American country and western, reggae, and modern europop.
The basic subsistence economy is based on cultivation of tree crops (primarily breadfruit, banana, coconut and citrus) and root crops (primarily taro and yam) supplemented by fishing. Small scale agriculture and various traditional fishing practices continue today.
Sharing, communal work, and the offering of tributes to the traditional leaders are fundamental to the subsistence economic system and the culture of the island societies of the FSM. The basic economic unit is the household, which consists primarily of extended families. Larger solitary social groups found on most of the FSM islands are matrilineal clans. Traditional political systems, such as the Nahmwarki Political System on Pohnpei and the Council of Pilung on Yap, continue to play an important role in the lives of the people of the FSM today.



The FSM has a rich history dating back several thousand years. The islands were originally settled by ancient people sailing east from Asia and north from Polynesia. Later discoverers and settlers included the Spanish, Germans, and Japanese and evidence of their former presence is found throughout the islands. Following the trusteeship under U.S. administration after W.W. II, the FSM is now independent and self-governing.
Most linguistic and archaeological evidence indicates that the islands were first discovered and settled between two and three thousand years ago. The first settlers are often described as Austronesian speakers possessing horticultural skills and highly sophisticated maritime knowledge. These first settlers are thought to have migrated eastward from Southeast Asia to Yap. From there, some migrated south to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia, and later to Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.
The oral histories of the Micronesian people indicate close affiliations and interactions in the past among the members of the island societies comprising the present-day FSM. The Lelu ruins in Kosrae (1400 AD) and the Nan Madol ruins of Pohnpei (1000 AD) are impressive reminders of the accomplishments of these early people.
In 1525, Portuguese navigators in search of the Spice Islands (Indonesia) came upon Yap and Ulithi. Spanish expeditions later made the first European contact with the rest of the Caroline Islands. Spain established its colonial government on Yap and claimed sovereignty over the Caroline Islands until 1899. At that time, Spain withdrew from its Pacific insular areas and sold its interests to Germany, except for Guam which became a U.S. insular area.
German administration encouraged the development of trade and production of copra. In 1914 German administration ended when the Japanese navy took military possession of the Marshall, Caroline and Northern Mariana Islands.
Japan began its formal administration under a League of Nations mandated in 1920. During this period, extensive settlement resulted in a Japanese population of over 100,000 throughout Micronesia. The indigenous population was then about 40,000. Sugar cane, mining, fishing and tropical agriculture became the major industries.
World War II brought an abrupt end to the relative prosperity experienced during Japanese civil administration. By the War’s conclusion, most infrastructure had been laid waste by bombing and the islands and people had been exploited by the Japanese Military to the point of impoverishment.
The United Nations created the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947. Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), Kosrae (formerly Kusaie, and at the time a part of Pohnpei), Chuuk (formerly Truk), Yap, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, together constituted the TTPI. The United States accepted the role of Trustee of this, the only United Nations Trusteeship to be designated as a “Security Trusteeship,” whose ultimate disposition was to be determined by the UN Security Council. As Trustee, the U.S. was to “promote the economic advancement and self-sufficiency of the inhabitants.”
The President of the U.S. appointed a High Commissioner of the TTPI, and he, in turn, appointed an administrator for each of the “Districts” mentioned above. The TTPI remained under the civil administration of the U.S. Navy Department until 1951, when authority passed to the Department of the Interior.
On July 12, 1978, following a Constitutional Convention, the people of four of the former Districts of the Trust Territory, Truk (now Chuuk), Yap, Ponape (now Pohnpei) and Kusaie (now Kosrae) voted in a referendum to form a Federation under the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). United Nations observers certified this referendum as a legitimate act of self- determination. Thereby, the people reasserted their inherent sovereignty which had remained dormant but intact, throughout the years of stewardship by the League of Nations and the United Nations.
Upon implementation of the FSM Constitution on May 10, 1979, the former Districts became States of the Federation, and in due course adopted their own State constitutions. Nationwide democratic elections were held to elect officials of the National and four State governments. The Honorable Tosiwo Nakayama, the former President of the Congress of Micronesia, became the first President of the FSM and formed his Cabinet. The new Congress of the FSM convened, elected the Honorable Bethwel Henry as Speaker, and began to enact laws for the new Nation. A judicial system was established pursuant to the National and State constitutions. Thereupon, the United States entered upon a period (1979 86) of orderly transfer of governmental functions consistent with the terms and intent of the UN Trusteeship Agreement.
Upon implementation of the FSM Constitution, the U.S. recognized the establishment of the FSM national and state governments. The FSM, the republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau each negotiated a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The Compact was signed on October 1, 1982 and approved by voters in the FSM in 1983. After approval by the U.S. Congress, the Compact entered into force on November 3, 1986. On September 17, 1991, the FSM became a member of the United Nations.


So, in a nutshell: A young, independent nation, consisting of hundreds of little and not-so-little islands spread over a million square miles. Influenced by the Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, Japanese and Americans. A thriving indigenous culture, as rich as it is diverse, yet united. A beautiful, rugged country, a magnet for Nature lovers and sun-n-surf thrillseekers.



According to this travel blog, FSM garnered only 26000 visitors in a 2008 survey. But that’s simply because it’s in the middle of nowhere, literally, (not because of war, political instability or crime). FSM has so much to offer tourists, let’s all tell our family and friends about it, and put it on our bucket list of Must-See Places!

To see all of FSM is a hop, skip and a jump, literally. But oh, it’ll be such fun!! Come on, let’s go!


(To my reader from FSM, I thank you for visiting my blog and for bringing your beautiful country to my attention. My life has been enriched by your kindness. Kammagar. Kinnisou. Kalangen en Komwi. Menlau. Nga kuna). ❤


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ISSUU – First impressions

I’ve heard about ISSUU from reading other magazines and brochures published using their platform. My most recent encounter was in the form of UPPERCASE magazine (of which later). I got my grubby hands on a hard copy of Issue 21 of UPPERCASE just the other day, and the quality of the paper and layout are superb. Sure it’s rather pricey, but UPPERCASE is, like most ISSUU magazines, an independent production and has a small (but growing) subscription.

So impressed have I been by this that I’m now contemplating publishing my own magazine on mobile photography art. I haven’t figured out the technicalities of doing this yet, but that’s another story.

From ISSUU’s website

Rediscover reading
With over 15 million publications, Issuu is the fastest growing digital publishing platform in the world. Millions of avid readers come here every day to read the free publications created by enthusiastic publishers from all over the globe with topics in fashion, lifestyle, art, sports and global affairs to mention a few. And that’s not all. We’ve also got a prominent range of independent publishers utilizing the Issuu network to reach new fans every day.

Created by a bunch of geeks with an undying love for the publishing industry, Issuu has grown to become one of the biggest publishing networks in the industry. It’s an archive, library and newsstand all gathered in one reading experience.

The statistics:

Signing up was easy. I chose to do it via my email address, but you can also sign in using Google+, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The user interface is very similar to that of Pinterest and Flipboard. You start out by selecting a few publications to follow. Then you can save your favourites to “Stacks”. Magazines can be read online for FREE, but you can also buy hard copies from good newsagents worldwide.



As you can tell from the photo above, I could start my own magazine online straightaway. But I won’t right now…instead I’ll check out some of the publications and assess them for quality of print and clarity of images.

My first magazine is the Maxwell & Williams “Joie de Vivre” 2014 catalogue. (I ♥ Maxwell & Williams teacups. My birthday is on 1st July. Just sayin’). With all ISSUU online publications, you can enlarge the pages to zoom in on text and images. Depending on how each publication was set up, the quality of enlargement may vary. (UPPERCASE wouldn’t zoom in enough for me to read the text clearly, which is why I had to resort to buying a hard copy).

Here are some screenshots from the Maxwell & Williams catalogue. (I have the red teacup and saucer already, ahem!)






And here are some screenshots of UPPERCASE magazine issue no.21. You can see how the text is blurry and pixellated upon zooming in.






That said, so far, the quality of ISSUU’s publications has been on the whole impressive. I can see myself getting lost in a world of fresh magazines. Have I said you can read them online for Free? I haven’t started any “Stacks” yet, but when I do, and when I start investigating how to publish my own magazine, I shall write and let you know, of course.

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What I am Reading Today

You know the saying, “It never rains but it pours”? Well, yesterday was one such day. Perth, Western Australia saw its wettest day of the year so far, with a few showers in the morning, then an almighty thunderstorm in the evening.

And I somehow ended up with not 1 but 4 books/magazines to read. Two I bought on a gallivant to Subiaco, an affluent suburb of Perth. Two more were delivered by my postman the same day while I was out.

Guess what I’ll be doing today then?


Vogue Living is one of my favourite interior design/home decor magazines. I have this on subscription. I wish the postman wouldn’t keep folding it in half to shove it in my postbox, though. One of my pet peeves is creased book/magazine covers/pages. I haven’t dogeared any of my books for over 20 years now, I just make it a point to remember what page I left off on.


ART ABANDONMENT is a worldwide project started by Michael deMeng and his wife Andrea Matus deMeng. Check out their Facebook page on

I got the book to guide me along, as I intend to start abandoning my Art in Perth. I wonder how West Australians will take to the idea. And I wonder if anyone else in Western Australia will join the movement so we can have a WA “Chapter” and can Art Bomb Perth together? Is there anyone out there, hellooo??!


I picked up this book from a high-end kitchenalia store in Subiaco called Table Culture. Orla Kiely is a well-known Irish designer, famous for her iconic “Stem” design. This book is like an autobiography, it tells of how Orla got started, what inspires her, how she runs her business etc.


This was the reason I traipsed up to Subiaco…to get my copy of Issue 21 of UPPERCASE magazine, from a tiny little curio shop called Mr Sparrow.

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I like to look at the statistics on my WordPress blog, okay maybe it’s a little narcissistic…but hey it gives me a lift everytime I’m checking the stats and the numbers jump up by one or two. I can’t boast thousands of followers (yet), so if you’re lucky enough to be one of Those bloggers, watching your stats might not appeal to you. But for me, it’s great to know that someone or some ones are actually bothering to read my ramblings, and liking them or better still, leaving a comment. Thank you kindly, folks! :-)

The USA generally tops my stats list, followed by the UK, then Australia and New Zealand. Canada gets a good look in too. The other day Saudi Arabia topped the list. I have had readers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Viet Nam, China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Israel, even Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan once or twice, French Polynesia, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, El Salvador, Saint Martin, Latvia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Cyprus, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Turkey, Estonia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Moldova, Guadeloupe, Latvia, Russian Federation, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Suriname, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Tunisia, Kenya, Federated States of Micronesia. But not all at the same time, unfortunately… though hopefully as time goes by and word gets round, I’ll have more countries to add to the list. AND all at the same time too!

But the most surprising country, and one I must confess I’d only vaguely heard of prior to this, was New Caledonia. So I looked it up. I thought it must be one of those Polynesian islands near Hawaii. I was only a few thousand kilometres off course. :P (It’s actually not very far off the Queensland coast of Australia).

The Lonely Planet describes New Caledonia thus:
“There’s no better place to experience the Pacific with a taste of France than New Caledonia, where Melanesian tradition blends with French sophistication. This mix of the chic yet casual, très French but ultimately Pacific comes together with peerless élan in Noumea, the cosmopolitan capital. Dining out and shopping run the gamut from gourmet restaurants to humble roulottes, from Chinatown’s colourful shops to the expensively elegant, air-conditioned boutiques on rue de Sébastopol. When you leave the capital, the urban scenery gives way to a wealth of changing landscapes – the rolling plains of la brousse (the bush), lush river valleys, steep mountains coursed by tumbling waterfalls, cool rainforests and wild coastlines.

Grande Terre is the main island with rugged mountains, waterfalls and the world’s largest coral lagoon. To the Southeast, lies romantic Île des Pins with its slender pines, white-sand beaches and emerald lagoon. To the east, life proceeds at a leisurely pace in the relaxed Loyalty Islands: Maré, steeped in Kanak culture, Lifou and Ouvea.

New Caledonia is surrounded by the world’s largest enclosed lagoon, where marine treasures of all shapes and sizes lie waiting to be discovered – canyons and caves, exquisite coral, the smallest of tropical fish, turtles, sea snakes and sharks. Dolphin and whale spotting are other delights in store, or simply the luxury of total relaxation on the soft, warm sand of a deserted isle”.

Lonely Planet on New Caledonia.








I’m packing my bags already. SIGH

New Caledonia very recently made worldwide news when it officially announced that it had created the world’s largest marine protected area.

Here’s the article:

It’s wonderful that the French government, that controls New Caledonia, should take this big step towards nurturing and conserving the vast oceanic resources of the region. The creation and maintenance of this protected area means that coral, fish, sharks, dolphins, turtles and all other manner of marine life will get a chance to flourish.

(Meanwhile, on the flipside, back on the sandy shores of Western Australia, the controversial drum-baiting cull of Great White Sharks has just been called off. The Premier, Colin Barnett, hailed the cull as “a great success”…despite the glaring fact that, of the 66 sharks caught since the programme started in January 2014, not a single one of them was a Great White Shark. Who’s fooling who here? Millions of taxpayer dollars spent on a half-arsed programme that went ahead despite public protests by thousands of people…money that could be better spent on research and conservation. Okay, rant over).

I would like to thank my New Caledonian reader, whoever you are, for taking an interest in my humble blog, and for putting your country on my map, so to speak. You should be proud to live in New Caledonia, and rightly too.

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Giving It All Away for Free

I was reading Issue 9 of Renegade Collective magazine just today, and one particular article struck a chord in me. The article was called “The Art of Stealing”, and it was about one Lukas Renlund’s project called “Steal My Photograph! (SMP)”. Essentially, it is an Art movement where Lukas hangs framed prints of his photography on a wall in the street, with the invitation to simply take what you like. It started in Copenhagen, where the Finn was living and working, but now Lukas has taken his project to Barcelona, London and Cape Town, and is now preparing for a global tour. Each “exhibition” is filmed by hidden cameras installed behind the photo frames to capture the art thieves in the act of stealing.

Here are the videos of the Copenhagen, London, Barcelona and Cape Town “exhibitions”. Copenhagen Oct 2012, Barcelona Aug 2013, London Oct 2013, Cape Town March 2014.

The premise of Lukas’ social experiment is simple – steal a framed photograph, hang it anywhere you like, take a photo of it and email it back to Lukas. I love the idea.

A similar concept was hatched by my favourite Assemblage artist, Michael deMeng, called “Art Abandonment“:

Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe. The idea is that folks can make something and leave it for a lucky unsuspecting person to find. Artists can then post locations and photos of abandoned goodies…and finders can let everyone know that they are the lucky finder! O’ sweet abandon! So leave some art. Leave a contact email for the finder…and if you get notified share the message with this group. If you prefer you can use the contact email: we’ll be checking it often and share the results.

Here’s an intro page on Typepad for full explanation:   

Have fun!

The Art Abandonment Project is now also a newly published book by Michael and Andrea Mateus de Meng, available on Amazon.  I’ve just sent off for my copy, which I will share with my friends and hope that they will join me on this…as I  intend to give away some of my Photographic Art for free.

Actually, I’d come up with a very similar idea last year, which I mentally called “Random Arts of Kindness” and involved me giving out free art at subway stations, with the instructions that the recipient takes a photo of the piece and emails it back to me. Then last December I resigned from my workplace, which meant I was no longer commuting to the Perth CBD every weekday, so the idea went on the back burner. I did toy with the idea of having a Flash Exhibition at the Rockingham Library…but then quailed at the logistics of transporting the pieces and hanging them up and then the whole event being the world’s shortest exhibition lasting under 5 minutes as a flashmob of varsity students stole my Art during their tea break and I never heard back from any of the recipients. But now, perhaps, as a member of Michael deMeng’s Art Abandonment Project, I might be more motivated to get my arse into gear and actually practise what I preach?!




Trending Now: Collaborative Textiles

By this I mean the emergence of several companies that share some common characteristics, namely:

a) they offer designs on fabrics
b) the designs are selected from winning entries of competitions open to members
c) competition participants vote for their favourite designs, and further raise the profile of the company by publicising this via social media
d) prizes include getting the winning design produced as an item of clothing eg scarf, dress etc, and the designer getting a shout out or a cash prize.

These so-called “collaborative” textile companies are what I believe to be the young upstarts of a new trend.

Here are just some “collaborative” companies that I know of, in no particular order. Please note I am unable to vouch for the reputations of these; these are the ones I’ve submitted designs to for contests or stumbled across on my internet searches. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find several more like them online yourself.


Front Row Society

Textile Federation

Only time will tell if this trend kicks off and continues to capture the imagination of the public, or whether it is just a phase. It certainly is one way of democratizing the art of textile designing, making it accessible to anyone with a smart device or computer and the motivation to participate.

As I write this, Front Row Society’s current competition has the theme of “Typography”. Here is the link.

Textile Federation is currently running a competition called “Entomology”, with the theme of insects. Here is the link if you’re interested in participating.


Lastly, here is an Australian-residents-only competition, by Digital Fabrics, for my Antipodean readers.

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Something Completely New For A Change

I’m a Classically trained Musician, having studied Music at degree level at University. That was, oh, half a lifetime ago. And, to be honest, I have never gotten a job where my First Class (Hons) Music Degree was a requisite. Instead, I worked as a Civil Servant in the UK, and then later in the Retail Banking sector.

It was only after I met my husband, Geoff, who creates music as ElectroCelt, back in 2009, that I came back to the world of Music. Geoff had set up his studio in the conservatory of the house I was renting in Ireland, when he moved in with me. Most days he would be sitting at his computers all day creating sequences, or playing on his synthesisers or electric guitars. As for me, my involvement was as a Musical Director/Editor. I helped shape ElectroCelt’s music, giving it structure and form, phrasing, melody and harmony, and calling upon my Classical training and knowledge. It was in Shanballybaun, County Leitrim, Ireland, that ElectroCelt’s album “Strange Elements” was born, and that album had a tremendous lot of input from me.

This week, I happened to stumble upon a mention of a Remix contest run by the famous film score composer, Hans Zimmer, and Bleeding Fingers, called the “Bleeding Fingers Contest”.  Hans Zimmer had posted on the contest site 10 “stems” of music, for various instruments, and the call was for musicians to remix the tracks any way they wanted.

Calling all composers! This original theme created exclusively for this contest by Mr. Zimmer himself is yours to replay, recompose or revise to your heart’s content. Below you’ll find a link to the theme plus everything you need to get the creative juices flowing. We’re looking for originality, curveballs and adventurous amphonics. Submissions should be 90 to 120 seconds in length and should include the words “Bleeding Fingers Contest” in the title of your track.

The prize?

The opportunity of a lifetime to become a Bleeding Fingers staff composer working along-side some of Hollywood’s premier film and tv composers on Hans Zimmer’s World famous Los Angeles campus.

The prize includes the opportunity for full-time employment, including a full benefits package, plus the use of a fully equipped studio in Bleeding Fingers brand new state of the art facility. The three lucky finalists will be announced on or before March 20, 2014.

Now, I’m not terribly proficient with the workings of such DAWs like Reason, or indeed Garageband, but I know the basics of it, from having done recording, editing, cutting and pasting on them while working on ElectroCelt’s music. So, I was willing to give the contest a whirl. Why not, as some people I knew were making a whole song and dance out of it?!  Literally.  I had no inclination to start creating music from scratch, but seeing as Hans Zimmer had already kindly provided 10 tracks that I could edit to my heart’s content, why ever not? I knew how to record music from Geoff’s iRig keyboard, how to create new tracks and modify the voices of instruments, I had the basics all right there. I went for it.

The contest closes on 19th February 2014, so I have a few more days to create more tracks if I want to. But right now, I’ve done 2 tracks in Reason, and 1 in Garageband, for the sheer hell of it. Here they are, I hope you enjoy listening to them.

The first track I named “BUGLE’S LAST REFRAIN

The second track is called “CHORALE

The third track (Garageband) is titled “MELISMA“.

TO PLAY THE TRACKS, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE TITLES.  Thanks for listening! Oh, and if you can, please Vote for my tracks!


ADDENDUM 10th Feb 2014:

I’ve just added a 4th remixed track, this time the title is “ECHOES OF DESTINY“. Enjoy!

ADDENDUM 13th Feb 2014:

Here is my 5th remixed track, entitled “UTOPIAN ENCOUNTERS“.  Please vote for my tracks!

And my 6th track, (I’m on a roll lol!), titled “TRIBAL HARMONY“.  I hope you like it!