Tag Archives: Rockingham

Underground Graffiti

I don’t usually park in the underground carpark of my local shopping centre, but I’m glad I did the other day. Otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered this beautiful concrete forest of graffitied pillars, see below.

Now, isn’t that a brilliant idea? Not only did the commissioned graffiti artists get to indulge in their passion, legally, the mall got itself some pretty cool artwork, and drivers found themselves a new and unique way of remembering where they’d parked their car.

Now I don’t need to take a photo of where I parked my car, in case I forget. All I need to do is remember that I’m parked between the Jellyfish and the Banana. 😄

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Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

So today it decided to rain for most of the day. I’d been itching to visit one of my favourite local haunts, the Salvation Army Thrift Store. But it seemed that every time I looked outside, it was either drizzling or pouring. I’d ventured out earlier in the morning to feed the animals, and ended up getting drenched in the process.

Then, suddenly at 3pm, the sun broke through the clouds and the skies cleared somewhat. I coerced The Kid to saddle up, and we cycled down to the Rockingham foreshore.

Where I scored big time in the book section. Some days the pickings are slim, but today there were loads of goodies to be had. I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d have been there at all for me to find, if I’d visited the shop earlier in the morning.

Here’s what I snagged.

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All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat. I bought this for The Kid, as it reminded him of our cat, Boo. Who, incidentally, has gone off his food suddenly and seems to sleep all day indoors, and I hope he picks up over the next 2 days, otherwise it’s off to the vet with him. Poor little puss!

The book on the right is a brand new girl’s Journal, with cutesie pictures inside. I got it for The Kid’s friend Ruby, for when she comes over for a play date this Thursday. Ruby is sweet on The Kid.

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I’d loved the film “Red Dog”, about a red Kelpie (Australian cattle dog) that became a legend after it hitched on trucks up and down the length of Western Australia for years, looking for its owner that had died suddenly. I’d never read the book though, and now here it was.

Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is one of my favourite stories. It’s a dystopian tale of a society where some women are used as sex slaves for the sole purpose of breeding, and one particular woman, Offred’s efforts to escape from her fate.

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I bought these 2 recipe books for different reasons. The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, on the left, contains anecdotes and recipes from Australian country fairs. The other book, Du Jour, contains more fancy fare, and also some really pretty decorated, ornamented pages that I can use for my mobile photography art.

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And here are my best finds today. On the left, Kevin McCloud’s “Grand Design” series, Series 1 through 10, in a staggering 25 DVDs. And all for a paltry $4.25!! (I looked it up online, this boxset is worth $200). Happy days indeed! The other book, “Harmonic Wealth” is one I’m not familiar with, but which might be interesting reading, filed under Self-Help.

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These Final Hours

I watched the film “These Final Hours” at the cinema a year ago. It’s made by a local film-maker from Perth, Western Australia, and was shot on location right here in Western Australia. The last scene on the beach in the film was actually shot at Point Peron in my own town of Rockingham.

I just so happened to surf onto the film again this morning on Foxtel cable television, and decided to watch it again.

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The storyline of “These Final Hours” is rather grim. The trigger-happy powers that be have pressed those fatal buttons and assured the total annihilation of the entire world. America, and the entire Northern Hemisphere, is gone. A rolling, unstoppable tsunami of hellish fire is on its way to the last 2 countries left in the world – Australia and New Zealand.

No “On The Beach” dramas here a la Nevil Shute. There’s only a scant few hours left for Western Australia before the fires reach our shores. A lone radio broadcaster summarises the end of the world as it happens. In the film, James, the main protagonist is just about to leave his girlfriend to go to the Biggest and Last Party On Earth, when she tells him she’s pregnant. At the start of the film, James is a two-timing scoundrel, who’s estranged from his own mother and doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He’s about to go to this Party to hook up with his other girlfriend.

On the way, James happens upon a little girl lost, Rose, who begs him to help her get to her aunt’s house in the hills (Roleystone, to be exact), where she believes her father has gone to spend these final hours. Reluctantly, James agrees to help her. After he’s gotten to the Big Party first, of course.

The Party is as hedonistic as it gets. It is, after all, the Party to end all parties, the last one ever, let’s all go out with a bang and not a whimper. One of the partygoers, who calls herself “Mandy’s Mum” (the wonderful actress Sarah Snook in a short but memorable role) is obviously high on drugs or otherwise off her rocker, and makes little Rose take a pill, which makes her sick. Meanwhile, James’ (other) girlfriend shows him the underground bunker that’s been prepared for her family to ride out the Apocalypse in. James tells her it’s not deep enough underground, and a year’s supply of food and water won’t be any good, as the radiation will take thousands of years to dissipate. Basically, we’re all dead already.

Anyway, because Rose is throwing up and feverish from taking that pill, James doesn’t know what else to do but to take her to his estranged mother’s house. There, while Rose recovers, James and his Mum are able to reconcile. He asks her what she intends to do with these final hours. Previous scenes showed groups of people praying in the streets, and mercy killings and suicides of entire families, as well as looting and The Party. James’ Mum simply says she’ll be doing some jigsaw puzzles.

Now James has had a change of heart and mind, and is determined to get Rose back to her family. And then he intends to go back to his pregnant girlfriend, that he’s realised is his real love. We’re talking Redemption here.

Alas, poor Rose’s other family members have done away with themselves out in the bushland behind her aunt’s house. James wants to take Rose with him back to his waiting girlfriend, but Rose tells him she promised her father they would see the end of the world together, and she’s staying put. So James drives away, with the poignant vision of Rose in his car mirror, running behind him and waving good bye, until neither of them can see each other anymore.

Halfway down the highway, James’ car overheats and he gets out and starts running. The heat is becoming unbearable, as the lone radio broadcaster states that there’s under an hour left before the tsunami of rolling fire reaches the shores of Western Australia. Birds are literally dropping out of the sky.

James manages to run back to (presumably) Rockingham, where he’d left his pregnant girlfriend earlier. Only, she’s not in the house, so James runs down to the beach to look for her. He sees the rolling, roiling clouds of fire coming towards him, but he also sees his girlfriend standing alone on the beach, waiting for the inevitable.

With scarcely five minutes left, James and his girlfriend still manage to find time to have one last argument before reconciling. Finally, they stand together, arms around each other, faces turned towards the wall of fire.

Then, white out.

Watch the trailer of “These Final Hours” here.

This film made me cry. It wasn’t so much the fact that okay, the world is ending, so what will you do with these final hours? But more the question of: How the hell did we let it come to that? Why were we unable to stop ourselves from self-annihilation? Why did we allow all those wars to happen, all that killing, terrorism, destruction of the environment? Were we too complacent? Were the voices of those who spoke out and spoke up too soft for others to hear and heed? Or were we too far gone down the route of consumerism and capitalism, that we no longer cared about the wellbeing of our humanity and Mother Earth?

Yes, it might have been only a movie. But in that movie, the whole World ended. And it was all our own bloody fault.

And do you know what the scary thing is? That it could bloody well happen to us one day, if we all continue down this destructive path of negligence, ignorance and mis-information. If we don’t wake up now and realise that we are responsible for our own future and the future of Mother Earth. This isn’t a spaceship that’s taking us to the Promised Land. This IS the Promised Land, and we are failing miserably to appreciate what we have, to protect it and preserve it for our children and future generations.

What frustrates me is that we are custodians of the Earth, but look at what our greed, selfishness and egos are doing to it. More and more creatures have gone extinct or face extinction due to human activity, in the name of Money.

Where land should be farmed and tilled for crops to feed the hungry, there are vast housing estates filled with homes that not everyone can afford, while the homeless linger on the fringes of society, largely unnoticed. In some countries, it is even ILLEGAL to feed the homeless and destitute!

Also, in some countries, it is ILLEGAL to live off the grid, to be self-sufficient and live off your own land, store rainwater, generate your own power. Why?? So that the government can keep you under control, by plugging you into The System, like those millions of other drones.

You have been warned.

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Graffiti Art : Baldivis

Baldivis is a newish suburb a few miles down the road from Rockingham, where I live. It started out with some new housing developments, a couple of schools and a small shopping mall hardly worth mentioning. Without a car, the Baldivis mall is terribly inconvenient to get to…there are only 2 buses that go anywhere near it, and 1 of them stops half a mile away.

That was then. This is now. Over the past 2 years, Baldivis’ “Stockland” shopping centre or mall has slowly been expanded and renovated. Just recently it celebrated the grand opening of a new extension. And what an extension it is. It’s gone and quadrupled its size from 7000 square metres to a whopping 29500 square metres.

I happened to visit Stockland Baldivis just last week, as the newest extension was opening to the public. As hubby parked our car outside McDonald’s, I noticed 2 great big walls filled with the most wonderful, vibrant graffiti. So, after having our lunch, and before going into any of Stockland’s shops, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the graffiti.

Here they are. I hope you’ll find them as cheerful and happy as I do.

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This mural is a collaboration between 2 well-known street artists, “Beastman” aka Brad Eastman and Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Click on the hyperlinks to access their respective websites.

I hope no one tries to deface this beautiful mural, or spark off some graffiti artist turf war. I’ve seen similarly wonderful graffiti art in Perth City defaced by lowlife scumbags with no respect or intelligence. Hey, people, it’s Art and it’s meant to be enjoyed by everyone, so please respect it and leave it alone!

Mother’s Day Art Abandonment, Rockingham

Castaways” is an annual sculpture exhibition held on the beach in Rockingham, Western Australia. It’s the little sister of Cottesloe’s “Sculpture By The Sea” exhibition held in March each year. “Castaways” uses recycled materials, with a nod towards environmental awareness, and is held in May or June each year.

This year, The Kid and I went to see “Castaways” on Sunday, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. I thought, why not gatecrash the party and add some Art Abandonment into the equation? So we did.

I printed out some Art Abandonment tags onto cardstock. I then experimented with glitter paint mixed with regular acrylic paint, and Gelli Plate printed an A3 sheet of paper using just 1 doily stencil and 1 trivet with circles. I kept it simple, with just 3 paint colours – dark green, yellow and blue. I inked the empty white spaces with a Tim Holtz Distress Inkpad, Picked Raspberries (a ravishing neon pink). I like how the glitter effect turned out, so I’ll be experimenting further with that later.

imageThe glitter paints. They were too transparent to use on their own for Gelli printing, so I mixed them with regular acrylic paint, in dark green, blue and yellow.

imageAt the top are some Art Abandonment tags that I printed onto cardstock and cut out. I Gelli printed an A3 sheet on one side only, and then divided and cut the sheet into 12 pieces, to be adhered onto the Art Tags, then trimmed to fit.

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The bookmarks assembled. On one side is the Art Abandonment tag, on the other side is the Gelli print. I then single hole-punched the tops, to tie hemp twine to later.

imageThe 12 finished bookmarks. I stamped some positive, affirmative words on each card.

And here are some close-ups. Sorry about the light reflecting off the cards, the photos were taken at night under my kitchen lights:
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Art Abandonment Rockingham : Juicy Journals

This year, my first Art Abandonment exercise was back in January, on Australia Day, when The Kid and I ventured to the Rockingham Foreshore to Abandon several books wrapped up with brown paper, and tied to some Lenormand divination card decks that I’d created and had printed.

We did another Abandonment in February, but that time The Kid and I cycled around Rockingham and posted some of my Inspiration Deck cards through people’s letterboxes in their gardens…so it was more of a choreographed affair, and not as random. I had an interesting discussion about the legalities of this with the Art Abandonment crowd on Facebook. Many of the members, being Americans, advised that it is actually against US law to just pop something into someone’s post box if it hasn’t gone through the Postal system. Luckily, I was able to ascertain that this isn’t the case in Australia. Hence the inordinate amount of junk mail we get over here…hmmm.

I’ve decided it’s high time I did another Art Abandonment. I’ve decided that my earliest Juicy Journals would make the best candidates. I reckon about 10 of them should do it.

So, these fellas:
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I’m going to do the Abandonment on May 1st, traditionally Labour Day. Oh, don’t mind me, I just like picking days that stick out…and oh my, I’ve just realised that nearly half the year is gone already??! Tempus Fugit!

I’d better get cracking finding some envelopes to put these babies into, and printing out some Art Abandonment labels.

I stamped the backs and some fronts of the journals, with a Chinese “Happiness” stamp that I’d had for many years. I felt this was appropriate, in keeping with the Art Abandonment philosophy of spreading Happiness the world over through Art.

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The smaller Juicy Journals will go into these button-string envelopes that I’ve stuck an Art Abandonment tag on. The bigger ones will go into envelopes or ziploc bags.

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Like so! All done, and ready to rock and roll. I think this time I’ll hit the cafe strip and discreetly leave my gifts at empty tables, where customers will find them.
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Update: 10am West Australian time. 1st May 2015. DONE!

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The next 2 photos show an elderly couple after finding one of my gifts on a park bench by the beach. And a young couple with 2 kids in a stroller after picking up another of my journals.

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Mission accomplished! :-)

My New Bike

After 3 years of hard riding and scrapes and falls galore, I have just retired my trusty old bicycle. It was a swell bike, and I loved it to pieces, quite literally, but its death pangs began when it got stolen from outside the shops about 7 months ago (see my post “Zen and the art of Bicycle Recovery” for the story of how I got my bike back from the thieves). Since that incident, the gears on my bike had not been quite the same – sometimes engaging, sometimes not.

And so, for the past few months, as the gears got progressively worse, I actually thought it was ME who was getting out of shape and finding it hard to keep up with The Kid on his bike. There he was, the little tearaway, zipping ahead on his mountain bike while his poor elderly (hehe) Mum tried valiantly to keep up. It was the gears – it was either too low or too high, there was no compromise. Cycling started to become a pain in the arse, literally…

Around Christmas time last year, hubby convinced me to put a new bicycle on lay-by. This meant I was to pay the bike shop a few bob each week until I’d finished paying for it all. We could ill-afford to do that, with more going out than coming in…but I’m glad I agreed to it, because this treadmill of an old bike was getting on my nerves, especially my sciatic nerve.

So, last week, I decided to go for broke. And paid the rest of the layby using my battered old credit card, thereby securing its freedom from the backroom of the bike shop. I also bought a pannier rack and basket for the back of my new bike, as well as new lights for both front and back.

And…I’m glad to report that my hunch had been right. It wasn’t my old bones that were struggling to push my old bike faster. It was indeed the clapped-out gears that were letting me down. Because you should see me on my shiny new bike. No, actually you can’t see me, because I’m just a blur flashing past your field of vision, that’s how fast this new bike is. Sigh! I’m in love.

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Art Abandonment # 3 : Rockingham

For our 3rd Art Abandonment exercise, the Kid and I decided to drop some Inspiration Cards I’d created and printed, into random letterboxes around our neighbourhood in Rockingham. (For American readers, this is Australia and it is NOT illegal to post unstamped, unaddressed letters into mail/post/letterboxes. Local politicians and real estate agents do it all the time. Even Australia Post workers post brochures and other junk advertising mail into people’s letterboxes).

The Art used this time was from my Inspiration Deck, a set of cards with inspirational sayings that I’d created on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and then sent off to be printed as 3.5 x 5.75 inch cards. I’ve already posted about these cards in an earlier post.

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Hope the folks who get these unexpected surprise cards appreciate them. The Kid and I enjoyed our “Reverse Robbing” exercise, even if we got rumbled a couple of times by people coming out of their houses or twitching their curtains at the windows.

They’re Here!

Aliens, I mean. No, no, well yes, aliens have been on Earth for quite a while now, only I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting them face to face. But that’s not what I meant.

I meant to say that my INSPIRATION DECK has arrived from the printers. And they are beautiful, and exactly how I envisioned them to be.

Okay, the deck I created only had 24 designs (I thought I uploaded 25, but maybe I’ve forgotten how to count in my dotage). I’d doubled the designs and trebled a couple, to get a pack of 54 in a white window box. This is only a test deck, at the moment, while I surreptitiously work away on more inspirational sayings and backgrounds.

The real INSPIRATION DECK, when it’s ready, will have 50 different designs. And it will be expandable, so should I be able to muster the strength to make another lot of designs, they can be purchased as “Booster Packs” and added to the existing one.

The purpose of these cards? To serve as a daily reminder that Life is good and not to lose sight of your dreams as you rush about your everyday lives. Keep the cards for yourself, or share them with friends or strangers, it’s up to you. My hope is that the cards and sayings inspire you to be your best, and give you good cheer on hard days.

I’ll be abandoning half of this deck in and around Rockingham, Western Australia, on the weekend of Valentine’s Day 2015. It’ll be my Secret Valentine’s Day present to unsuspecting folks. I’ll also be giving some to my adult cousins and my Aunt and Uncle the weekend after, when we gather for our Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner.

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THE INSPIRATION DECK

I wrote about my INSPIRATION DECK Project a short while ago, in the post “The First Twelve”. Since then, I’ve completed 25 different card designs, all with inspiring phrases on them. And I’ve decided that they should be part of a deck that’s expandable. So, the first deck of extra large (3.5 x 5.75 inches) cards will have 50 different designs. And any subsequent “booster” packs will have the same back designs, so one can simply shuffle the new cards into the old.

I’ve gone ahead and ordered a deck with 2 of each design. Now, here’s the method to my madness:

1) the printer’s templates offer a maximum of 54 cards per deck. The price is the same regardless of whether your deck has 1 card or 54. So, it makes sense to double up on the designs and use up all the card allocations, for the one price.

2) I’ve sent off for a deck now because I’d like to be able to let my adult cousins and my Uncle and Aunt choose a card for themselves over our annual Chinese New Year Reunion Lunch at my 2nd Uncle’s. Like a party favour. I’m the “poor” cousin, and good for comedy effect as well as entertainment value LOL. CNY 2015 is on Feb 19th, which is mid-week, so I guess our family reunion will be the weekend after.

3) I’ve promised The Kid that we’ll have the cards ready before Easter. We intend to pop the cards into envelopes with Art Abandonment tags or labels on them, and then randomly drop them into people’s letterboxes around our area. Might make someone’s day, who knows?

It’s going to be such fun!

Anyway, here are some of the 25 designs, which I’ve collaged together into a frame, for ease of uploading to WordPress. See, this old dog can learn new tricks still! 😄 When the deck arrives from the printers, fresh off the press, I’ll be sure to photograph them all and blog about it in a later post.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

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