Monthly Archives: May 2015

Swinger

Don’t let the title fool you. This post isn’t about what you think it is. I’m just teasing you 😄.

Swinger is just the name of a fairground ride I saw in Baldivis last month. It’s one of those aerial merry-go-round swing things that fly around using centrifugal forces, jolly good old-fashioned fun, if you ask me. I used to love going on those rides, I think the last time I was on one was in Disneyland Paris, back in 2008.

I was only able to take a few photos of the Swinger, but I now present to you 2 sides of carnival life: the Light, and the Dark.

Apps used: Pic Blender, Photo Editor, Snapseed. Snapseed updated its App recently, but I’ve been away from photo editing for a good while, and so I have had to learn how to navigate its new user interface. It’s a great improvement on the old model, I must say. Bravo, Nik Software/Google! A great thumbs up from me.

For the Light: think happy circus and carnival colours – bright, vivid, cheerful.

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Now, for the Dark: think American Horror Story “Freak Show” (currently my favourite AMS series, after the previous one, “Coven”. If you like your stories morbid, twisted, cynical and ironic, I recommend American Horror Story, where a stable of well-known actors star in each story, playing different characters each time). Now, the skies are stormy and roiling with thunder and lightning, and the faces of the people on the ride are frozen in a rictus of fear, not joy. Mouths open to scream with terror, not exhilaration. Even the colours have been bleached out, the textures grunged up. Sinister dexterity was needed here, to capture the terror of flying through space out of control.

Excuse my morbid sense of humour. Snapseed’s Textures always bring that out in me…the last time I devoted my time on a project featuring graveyard angel statues, I found myself skulking around Fremantle’s cemetery in the pouring rain. And enjoying every minute of it.

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Some more Mashups

Just some digital mash-ups of my Gelli plate monoprints, that I created using just 3 Apps, namely Photo Blender, PicsArt and Photo Editor. I love the riot of bright colours.

I might put these up on Kess InHouse Design’s website. I’ve been rather neglectful about updating my artist portal on Kess InHouse Designs. It’s high time I posted up more designs to be licensed, and why not these? I think they would translate very well to duvet covers, cushions, wall art, rugs etc.

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Give and Take

GIVE:
– your time freely to those who need it most
– your full attention to the task at hand, no matter how small
– your efforts to help the poor, the destitude, the helpless
– your love to children and animals
– yourself to the one you love and who loves you back, unconditionally
– your body to help build bridges, toil the soil, build homes, rescue victims of tragedies, fight fires
– your mind to the betterment of your fellow human beings, to help create a brighter future for your children and future generations
– your spirit to the Higher Good, and do only good deeds and think only good thoughts

TAKE:
– no notice of those who will speak against you or about you negatively
– no offense to the arguments of idiots
– and accept a person’s thanks when you’ve done something for them, and ask for nothing more
– care to nourish your body, mind and spirit
– time to play, no matter how old you may be
– umbrage at unfair practices, and speak out against injustice and suppression
– a moment to consider all the facts, before uttering a single word in response
– a break from your usual activities and do something totally spontaneous and unpredictable
– a deep breath, it’s good for your heart and clears your mind
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See, a little bit of Give and Take goes a long way. Mind that it’s the right kind of Give and Take, though…not your usual suspects, but the examples above. Notice that the twin devils, Money and Ego, do not even figure into the equation, nor should they. Practice at least 1 Give and 1 Take each day, and see for yourself the difference it makes to your life and the lives of others.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Namasté!

Crazy

Someone said to me the other day that if I continued with my attitude of being against the idea of Money, I would never attract it and forever be poor.

I thought that was rather ironic. A few years ago I tried applying the Law of Attraction to my own life, but found it hard to gel with. Too much emphasis was paid to attracting Money, Fame and Fortune and towards obtaining material goods. I even tried visualising winning the Lottery and buying a 20 acre farm in Ireland where I could host hip music and art festivals…luckily, I caught myself in time, before I went totally nuts believing in that fantasy. It felt so real! I even got the flashy brochure for that property, and made enquiries to view it. I told the estate agent I was about to “come into some money”. Crazy, right?!

I realise now that the reason the Law of Attraction didn’t sit well with me personally was because all those ambitions don’t belong to my psyche.

So, back to the start of this post, when that person told me I was never going to attract Money if I continued to push it away, I felt like she was the one who’s missing the point, not me.

I do what I do out of Love, not for any desire to attract any of the accoutrements that so many people aspire to. That people are brainwashed to believing they need, in order to have a good life. Yes, unfortunately we live in a world where Money is God and we are its slaves, but I also believe there will come a day of reckoning, when a better alternative will be embraced by all of humanity. Call me crazy, if you like, but I’ve learnt that the wiser you get, the crazier you sound to others.

So, what’s more crazy? Believing that I can attract €2 million to buy a 20 acre country property, by simply “attracting” it to me? Or believing that if every single person on earth agreed to abolish Money, there will be no more poverty, no more homelessness, no more hunger in the world?

Ask yourself that question. And then do something about it. Change has to begin within ourselves, before it can change the world.

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3 Juicy Journals from 2 Sheets of Paper

Ok, make that 2 BIG sheets of paper. 58 x 42 cm each, to be exact. Or 22.5 x 16.5 inches, if you’re Imperial.

For this project, I wanted to create some square Juicy Journals. I decided to lop off 8 x 17 cm from the two 58 x 42 cm sheets of paper that I’d already Gelli printed on both sides. This meant I could then divide the sheets up into strips of 50 x 25 cm. When folded in half, this would give me a booklet 25 x 25 cm square.

From the 2 large sheets, I was able to get 16 strips of 50 x 25 cm, and the leftovers were enough to make another Juicy Journal, not quite a square one though.

image The 8 pieces that I further divided into 2, to get the 16 strips.

image The 16 strips that will be folded in half to create square signatures of 8 pages each. I’m going to bind 2 signatures together, to get 16 pages per Juicy Journal.

image Each signature consists of 4 strips of 50 x 25 cm, folded in half to create 8 pages.

imageI’m using a pamphlet stitch, so I’ll need 3 holes in each booklet.

Basically, this technique is a really simple one, and is an optical illusion. You simply put two 8-page signatures together and sew them using a pamphlet stitch, and then fold the pages back into their respective signatures. The stitches will be hidden within the pages. I could take this a step further and create a hard cover, but I like to show off my Gelli printing, so I’ll leave them naked, so to speak.

imageHere’s how I sewed the Juicy Journal. Stand the 2 signatures you want to join together like in the photo. Open them up and align their holes. Bind all 8 layers together using a pamphlet stitch.

imageSewing the pamphlet stitch.

imageTying the knot to secure all 8 layers together.

imageFold the 2 signatures back to their respective starting points. This technique produces a booklet with a very neat finish at the spine. The stitches are hidden inside the pages.

imageFrom my 2 big sheets of Gelli printed paper, I managed to create 2 square Juicy Journals and 1 not-so-square one (from the leftover paper). That’s the one on the right, with the pamphlet stitch’s final knot showing on the outside.

imageI like the square format and think I might create some more of these. They require a bit more thought in measuring and tearing to size, but the results are very encouraging.

I also like the technique of sewing 2 signatures together, with the stitches hidden on the inside of the booklet. Might make more the same, too.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! 🙂

The Lie of Existence

I passed by a parked car today at the mall, which had a sticker on it that caught my eye. It said, in a humourous yet ironic manner: “I Owe, I Owe, It’s Off To Work I Go”. In the style of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

That got me thinking. Thousands of years ago, humans started exchanging tokens of worth for goods. This “currency” may have started out as simple objects like cowrie shells or seeds, which evolved into more permanent and longlasting objects made from metal, which then became known as “Money”.

Which has become the downfall of humanity.

As more and more people subscribed to this monetary system, and it was given more and more importance, there came to be a division of classes – the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”. The rich, who were also in positions of power, then imposed taxes on the workers, thus effectively robbing the poor to give to the rich, i.e themselves. And so the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. Compound this simple formula by thousands of years, and align that with the Fact that the World is ruled by a handful of uber-rich, elite Families, and you’ll have grasped the tip of the iceberg that we are standing on.

Human beings are the only creatures on Earth who have to “earn” a living. Society dictates (or rather, the Elite dictate, through their minions) that all human beings have to be indebted to financial institutions, and trade their skills and time for Money. Which they can then use to pay bills, which are imposed on them left, right and centre. The Carrot being Money, the Stick being Work, and no prizes for guessing who the Ass is.

Let’s throw into the equation Luxury Goods and Services. Humans have big egos, they like to be complimented and put up high on pedestals, they love getting one up on their fellow human beings, because it makes them feel powerful. So, let’s create some special classes of goods that mere mortals will not be able to afford. Cue luxury yachts, fast cars, mansions with dozens of rooms, private islands, holidays abroad, cruises. The “Haves” will then flaunt these in front of the “Have-Nots”. The “Have-Nots” will moan that they want to be able to go on holidays too, or buy large homes and drive flashy cars.

So, the banks (which are ultimately owned by the Elite), offer the hoi polloi such things as Credit Cards, Home Loans and Personal Loans. That’s right, my friend, step right up, here’s enough Money for you to go and indulge in your fantasy of being a “Have”. Remember though, we own your ass now, and you will spend the rest of your life paying us back, with interest.

We tell our children they have to study hard and get qualifications so they can get a “good job”. And what is a “good job”? Why, one that pays enough money to pay the bills and have a little left over at the end of the day. Bills? What bills? Why, the bank loan you took out in order to go to University or Technical College. You mean to say I start my working life being in debt from Day One? And that it only gets worse, because I’ll have to get a loan to buy a car, a house, get credit cards to extend my spending period, so I can live ahead of myself?

Unfortunately, in this day and age…Yes. Sadly, it has become the “norm” for young people to begin their working life wearing a necklace of debt around their neck.

Have you ever wondered just how we humans got ourselves into this predicament? How do we get out of it? Are we doomed to repeat this vicious cycle, generation after generation? Do we even care? Have we been so brainwashed by our governments and the media to actually believe that it is good for our souls to be indentured slaves to Money all our lives? To spend our lives working, paying bills and then dying?

Is this the True Meaning of Life?

I believe those who are waking up are slowly doing what needs to be done. That is, stepping off the conveyor belt to hell. Or, stepping off that stupid wheel, because we are human beings, not hamsters. And speaking out about this pathetic human condition we are in. There ARE better alternatives. There ARE better ways of Living without the need for Money. Society will have you believe that there is nothing better than this current model we live in.

Well, Society is Wrong. Like most people, Society doesn’t want its position toppled by something better, so it will do its utmost best to tell you that there is nothing better out there, that this is as good as it gets.

Bollocks to that.

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Score One For The Ladies

Watched the eagerly anticipated “Mad Max: Fury Road” at the cinema recently. Thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, the Kid and I liked it so much we went back for a second viewing last weekend.

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What did I like about the film?

1) the cinematography was astounding. The film was shot on location mainly in the Namibian desert. Never since the original Star Wars trilogy (the ones with Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford) have I seen a film where the backdrop is a star in its own right. The most haunting scene for me was the one at night where the war rig passes through a desolate area, deserted but for some dead, twisted trees, crows and strange human figures walking on all fours on stilts. Shot with a blue filter, nonetheless. Very Daliesque indeed.

2) the soundtrack was great and in keeping with the action. I’ve watched films that suffered greatly from having an insipid soundtrack. These days there are plenty of talented composers out there clamouring to score for a blockbuster movie, so it’s nice to see relative newcomer Tom Holkenborg a.k.a Junkie XL being given the Mad Max honour. I especially liked how the action was able to incorporate and utilise to great effect a vehicle full of drum-banging war boys and most spectacularly a scarlet-clad, rictus-faced musician on a double-necked, electric guitar that also doubled as a flame thrower. There’s a fight scene towards the end, where this hapless guitarist becomes a yo-yo, literally.

3) the film showed how women were treated as worse than animals or slaves in Mad Max’s post-apocalyptic world. How they were literally milked like cows. Used as “breeders” to provide healthy children to the brutal warlord Immortan Joe. There is a scene where Immortan Joe runs to the vault where he keeps his favourite beautiful “breeders”, only to find them gone, and messages painted on the walls and floor of the prison reading “We Are Not Things”, “Our Babies Will Not Be Warlords” and “You Do Not Own Us”. Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiosa, a trusted war rig driver tasked to deliver Mothers’ Milk to Gas City down a straight road in the desert, in exchange for gasoline…who decides to help 5 of Immortan Joe’s “breeders” escape. Herself a branded slave taken from her home at a young age, Furiosa takes her war rig off the road and heads east, towards the Green Place, her homeland. Immortan Joe and all his war boys set off in pursuit to bring back the “breeders”.

What ensues is basically a road trip on steroids. Warring factions try to take the war rig for its milk and an extra pod of fuel. Immortan Joe’s war boys all try to stop the war rig and bring back the 5 beautiful damsels hiding within it. Mad Max, played by Tom Hardy, has been living in a cage at Immortan Joe’s Citadel, used as a bloodbag to feed ailing warboys. Nux, played by Nicholas Hoult, is an ambitious war boy dying a slow death due to 2 huge tumours growing out of his neck. When Nux hears that everyone is going after Imperator Furiosa, he decides to join the chase. Only, he needs Mad Max’s blood, so he takes him along on the road. And that is how Mad Max enters the Fury Road story.

I loved how the film showed that you just can’t put a good woman down. I felt it empowered women and cast them as strong, fearless, resilient and resourceful. In times of desperation, all the girls worked together. In one powerful scene, just when Immortan Joe is about to shoot Furiosa in the cab of her war rig, one of his “breeders, the heavily pregnant Splendid Angharad, played magnificently by model-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, swings open the door of the car and stands defiantly in Immortan Joe’s line of fire, thwarting him and daring him to kill her and his impending offspring.

As for Furiosa herself, she’s more than capable of tackling any man that dares threaten her or her precious human cargo. Single-handedly, no less. And I mean that literally, as Furiosa is a one-armed warrior woman. After a few tussles with both Mad Max and Nux, she decides to trust them and uses them to help get them all across the forbidding desert to the Green Place. Which doesn’t exist anymore, much to everyone’s dismay, but that makes for the latter half of the film, the return to Citadel, to take it from Immortan Joe.

On one hand is Immortan Joe’s colony of people with terrible mutations and birth defects, living a violent life where dying in war is the way to enter Valhalla. Immortan Joe controls the Citadel’s water supply, which he turns on when he feels like it. He tells his people not to get addicted to water. And only gives them enough to survive. Milking Mothers are what his human “cows” are called, hooked up to breast pumps just like cows, and their milk stored and used for nourishment or as items for barter and trade.

On the other hand there’s the Vuvalinis’ attempts to preserve and restore Mother Nature’s bounty, in the middle of a desert wasteland. The Vuvalinis are the tribe of warrior women that Furiosa comes from. They and Furiosa reunite in the desert, and the young ladies are warmly welcomed. Later, the Keeper of the Seeds shows one of the “breeders”, The Dag, a large bag containing seeds, and tells her they contain the future, if only there was any good soil to plant them in. The Dag inherits this bag when the Keeper dies, and takes it with her when they return triumphantly to the Citadel. Where there is ample water and hydroponics, and Hope.

Women as Custodians of the Earth, Men as Destroyers.

There was some outcry from some Men’s Activist groups, who called for viewers to boycott the film, calling it a “feminist piece of propaganda masquerading as a guy flick” https://au.movies.yahoo.com/news/a/27915332/men-s-rights-activists-urge-mad-max-fury-road-boycott/. They felt the film was more of a vehicle for Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, rather than Tom Hardy’s Mad Max. Ummm, Duh! The title “Fury Road” should have been a giveaway from the start?

It IS Mad Max’s story. But it is also Furiosa’s story. And for a while, it was Their Story, they made an awesome team. Neither of their stories end, instead they go separate ways: Furiosa, into the Citadel to forge a new future for her people, and Max, into the sunset to feature in the next Mad Max adventure.

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We Are Born, We Live, We Die

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We Are Born
We Live
We Die
Everything in between
Is what matters

So
Make It Count

Everything we do
Affects everything else
Ripples in the water
No pebble on the beach
Stands alone – we are All connected

As a Single being
We are weak
But as a Collective
There is great Power and Strength
In Us

Power to do Good
Power to create Change
Power to Influence and Lead
Power to make this world
The Paradise it should be

We are Born
We Live
We Die
Everything in between
Is what matters

So
Make It Count

AlyZen Moonshadow

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!

Art Around Perth : At the Esplanade Bus Terminal

Just some pretty Art on the walls of Perth’s main Bus Terminal at the Esplanade. I was going to use these for projects, but, being an eclectic magpie and with an attention span just as fleeting as a bird’s, I’m onto other projects now so these have fallen by the wayside.

You’re more than welcome to save them to your own devices and use them however you like – as backgrounds for digital photography art, to print out as postcards, for collage, for art journals, etc.

Have a great day!

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You’ll notice the signature of the artist at the bottom of a few of the photographs. I tried searching for “Leanne” the artist, but was sadly unable to find any mention of her or of the wall art at the bus terminal. If anyone knows who “Leanne” is, do let me know so I can update this post, many thanks in advance! 🙂