everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

These shirts smell.

They had me at the name Smellies Clothing. And the tag line – interactive t-shirts – was so full of possibility. A t-shirt that could hold a conversation, perhaps? Or play fetch with a stick in the park? Not quite, my friends, but still AMAZING. The ranges include Colourchange (Hypercolor-style, they change colour with touch and body heat) and Glow In The Dark (um, yep, these ones glow in the dark). Oh, and just one other range of interactive t-shirts…SCRATCH N’ SMELL T-SHIRTS.

A popcorn scented shirt? Yes please!

A popcorn scented shirt? Yes please!

Ah, chocolate.

Ah, chocolate.

A festive twist.

A festive twist.

And a healthy option.

And a healthy option.

Unfortunately, they only come in little people’s sizes at the moment, but I reckon if we start an EverydaySparks petition, we might just be able to push for the production of adult-size scratch n’ smell t-shirts. The only problem I can see is if people try to scratch you while you’re wearing it. I distinctly remember fights over scratch n’ sniff stickers back in the day, when people would sneak scratches and sniffs, reducing the powers of your magic stickers and resulting in tears. There was an irresistible sort of urge to scratch them, which wouldn’t be so great when they’re in t-shirt form – if you were wearing your Smellies t-shirt on a crowded train, say. Or at a job interview. Or on a blind date. But otherwise, love your work, Smellies Clothing!

All of these pics are from their website and you can check out the ranges (and the very reasonable prices) from this unique Australian company here.

As always, EverydaySparks takes no responsibility for any harm, addictions, or resurfacing childhood memories that result from this post or any purchase that you or your loved ones may make from Smellies…

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Stormy Sydney

So, Sydney was hit with a whopper of a storm on Saturday. It rained pretty much all day, usually heavily, and was super windy. I’m no weather guru, but on the scale of bring-an-umbrella to just-stay-home, I would officially classify this storm as start-building-that-ark. As the rain pelted down through the night, the wind was howling and things were banging and crashing and flying around outside. Not exactly Wizard of Oz-style, but it was definitely pretty wild in my neck of the woods.

The beginning...

The beginning…

I’m lucky to live in a very tree-y part of Sydney and I’m used to seeing some leaves and small branches on the grass after a windy night. When I looked out the window this morning and saw a fairly large branch on the ground outside, it seemed like a pretty big deal. And then as I went on my morning walk, a friendly lady (a) made eye contact, (b) smiled and (c) spoke. Imagine that! Anyways, she said “look out, there are huge trees down along the path – it’s pretty incredible”. I thanked her and smiled – thinking that she looked like the kind of fancy lady who would be bothered by stepping over a twig and getting her Prada sneakers dirty. Huge trees, I thought, uh huh.

Like a well-organised collection for the Council Cleanup, all along the path.

Like a well-organised collection for the Council Cleanup, all along the path.

And then I got to the corner of the path and it was like a war zone. Except, instead of people, tanks and guns, there were huge trees (yep, that lady was right) split away from their trunks and fallen over the path. Lying heavily over the power lines, which were then sagging way too close to the ground. It was both incredible and a little sad to see these poor, grand old trees who had lost their battle with the ferocious winds. And then there was the water – the little creek, normally dry, was gushing and water was tumbling over rocks.

So, yeah, after this morning, I guess you could say I’m a jungle trekker.

Yikes

It’s hard to get the scale in my phone photos, but that lady in red just past the tree was not a tiny pixie.

 

Yes, that makes things a bit trickier...

Yes, well, that makes this walk a bit trickier…

Like intrepid explorers, the morning walkers will find a way...

Like intrepid explorers, the morning walkers will find a way…

And lean to the right...

Today was a good day to be short.

Ok, fine, I'll go around then.

Ok, fine, I’ll go around then.

So that's how it's meant to look here...

Aha, so that’s how it’s meant to look here…

And this is normally dry. So I think it's safe to say we had a fair bit of rain.

And this is normally dry. So I think it’s safe to say we had a fair bit of rain.

Just like match sticks.

Just snapped like a twig.

This was not damaged in the storm. It's been like this for months. It used to be a normal bench, but now I'm not sure if they're still waiting to fix it, or if it's a modern art installation? You know, poking fun at the urban experience, or something incomprehensible like that...

This was not damaged in the storm. It’s been like this for months. It used to be a normal bench, but now I’m not sure if they’re still waiting to fix it, or if it’s a modern art installation? You know, poking fun at the urban experience, man’s inhumanity to man, or something incomprehensible like that…

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Right on, Kid President

I discovered Kid President via this You Tube clip and when I looked a bit further, it turns out that Kid President seems to be part of Soul Pancake, a funky website dedicated to stuff that matters. Soul Pancake was actually started by Rainn Wilson (the quirky guy who plays Dwight in the US series of The Office) and a couple of his mates back in 2008. I think they can best explain the idea behind their very cool site: Our brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humoris designed to open your mind, challenge your friends, and feed damn good. 

The Soul Pancake peeps are trying to encourage interaction around “Life’s Big Questions” – through video, art, words and live events, they’re harnessing the talents of a whole range of people to get us talking about stuff that matters. I like this idea a lot. And don’t worry about it being all ooooh-wah-ooooh mung beans and rainbows, the site features fantastic design and graphics and is lots of fun to look around.

But back to Kid President. Apparently, he releases videos each Thursday in an attempt to make grown-ups less boring. More power to you and your mission, Kid President. And what better video for the beginning of a new week than A Pep Talk From Kid President To You. Awesome. You can check out Soul Pancake here.

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Friday Foto – evil biscuit

Happy Friday to you. I couldn’t resist posting this picture, taken by my friend Megsy up in Queensland. Megsy was making triple chocolate biscuits yesterday and she took a photo of them before they went into the oven. They look nice and I’m sure they turned out to be delicious. Well, except for one of them, third up from the bottom of this pic…is it just me, or does that look like AN EVIL GREMLIN? Yikes. Have a great weekend!

It only takes one...

It only takes one…

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The amazing Color Run

What a fantastic day we had – arriving at Sydney Olympic Park with tens of thousands of peeps of all ages, shapes and sizes, while most of Sydney was still in bed on a lazy Sunday. Passers-by must have thought there was some sort of cult gathering, as everyone was dressed in white – some with crazy wigs, angel wings or colourful socks and shoes to help them stand out from the crowd. Thanks to the awesome eagle-eyes of the youngest Steph in our gang, we somehow managed to meet up with everyone at the starting area. And then we waited. Standing in the sun, already roasting hot before 9am, as they released runners in waves from the crowd of thousands that were in the queue.

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

Lots of wings and tutus around.

Lots of wings and tutus around.

The music was pumping and there were beachballs, dancing, Mexican waves and people-watching to keep us all entertained as we waited for our turn.  The place was buzzing, I tell you – such an amazing experience to be a part of something like that, everyone was smiling and laughing and enjoying the fun atmosphere: DEFINITELY the ‘happiest 5k on the planet’, as the organisers had promised.

Nearly at the starting line...

Nearly at the starting line…

My friend Anne and I were caught out by a nice sort of chap who seemed to be spraying water at people in the crowd – we were so hot and thirsty after standing around waiting to start, so we went right up to him to be refreshed…and then realised that the tank on his back was actually full of purple coloured water, which was now all across our faces and shirts. Ah well, off to a colourful start!

The Smurf Village was the first colour checkpoint.

The Smurf Village was the first colour checkpoint. You can see the Blue volunteer holding the bottles that they used to blast powder at you as you passed through the checkpoint.

It’s hard to explain what happened from then on – each km was marked by a colour and at the colour ‘checkpoint’, it was bedlam as volunteers sprayed liquid colour or blasted coloured powder at you as you passed through. Gone were the pristine white t-shirts and the clean faces as people emerged looking as though they’d been dunked in colour.

The Orange checkpoint was called Oompa Loompa land and they were probably the craziest volunteers, determined to turn everyone orange. Mission accomplished!

The Orange checkpoint was called Oompa Loompa land and they were probably the craziest volunteers, determined to turn everyone orange. Mission accomplished!

Some oompa loompas after the orange checkpoint.

Some oompa loompas after the orange checkpoint.

And with all that was going on, the 5k passed pretty quickly and soon we were running Chariots-of-Fire-style to the finish line. And it was then that my lovely friend Steph decided to open her packet of coloured powder (meant to be saved for the ‘finish line festival’ when all recent finishers throw them in the air together, I might add). She opened it and threw it…IN MY FACE. So my left cheek, ear and down my neck was a very dark (and very pretty, to be fair) magenta colour. An interesting beauty note for you, peeps – painting your skin a really dark magenta colour really makes your white teeth ‘pop’ and looks like you’ve had a Hollywood-style dental whitening session. But be warned that you may scare young children and yourself, when you finally get to a mirror.

After the attack.

After the attack.

Finish line.

The End.

Not a white t-shirt in sight...

Not a white t-shirt in sight…

Yep.

Yep.

Color Jump-ers.

Color Jump-ers.

Not even crutches and a heavy cast would stop this lady being part of it!

Not even crutches and a heavy cast would stop this lady being part of it!

Cheers to ice blocks and slushies at the end of the run.

Cheers to ice blocks and slushies at the end of the run.

We all had such a great time at the Color Run – I highly recommend signing up when it’s next in your town!

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Time for the Color Run

You might recall some time last year when I posted about the Color Run, which was coming to Australia for the first time in 2012/2013. Well, Sydney’s time has come and it all happens on Sunday morning. Basically, it’s a really fun run – the organisers call it the happiest 5k on the planet – and at each km mark, a group of random strangers throw brightly coloured powder at you. Hopefully not in a mean way, although my lovely friend Steph is prepared and bought us some protective glasses (don’t worry, they’re not like a scientist’s lab goggles, they’re Ray Ban lookalikes).

Uh huh.

Uh huh.

We sure are!

We sure are!

We went along last night to register for the event in the CBD and if the registration hype is anything to go by, we are in for a great time on Sunday. It was a lovely sunny evening and the music was pumping as hundreds of people stood in Martin Place after work to check in, get their packs and maybe buy some of the crazy Color Run gear on offer. Pink tutu? Sure! Knee-high fluoro socks? Absolutely! White short shorts with ‘COLOR THIS!’ written across the back? Alrighty then. For the record, we didn’t buy these things, just saw them for sale at the Color Run shop.

The official Color Run tutu.

The official Color Run tutu.

Yep, all that.

Yep, all that.

Anyways, we’ve got our official t-shirt, race bib, headband, temporary tattoo, big pack of coloured powder to throw at the ‘finish line festival’ and the rest of our gear ready and we’re very excited to be out there on Sunday. At Sydney Olympic Park, no less. With my friends Steph, Stef, Steph and Anne in the Sydney summer sunshine. (The Steph/Stef/Steph bit isn’t a gag either – it wasn’t a pre-requisite, must just be something great in the name!)

The Shirt.

The Shirt.   

The Race Gear.

The Race Gear.

The Powder.

The Powder.

And if you’re interested, or if you just want to see something cool, or if you want to get in the zone for Sunday Run Day, here’s the official Color Run You Tube clip… Have a great weekend!

6 Comments »

I love Melbourne

This isn’t a Valentine’s Day post, but I want to declare my love for the city of Melbourne. It’s so easy to navigate and full of interesting people and it’s just so COOL. (Even when it’s just so HOT, like yesterday – which stayed in the high 30s through to the night time and made walking around town a bit of a challenge.) In Sydney, a lane way between buildings in the CBD is generally just a lane way, for rubbish or truck deliveries or drunk men to wee in. In Melbourne, a lane way between buildings in the CBD could be a funky bar, a series of restaurants, a gallery for street art, a shopping haven or a market. For the record, it can also be for rubbish or drunk men to wee in – I want to add that to be fair to my Sydney. But for the most part, this city just seems to get it right. Here are some pics from my wanderings.

A shopping centre display of giant beach balls called Amazeballs. Yes, really.

A shopping centre display of giant beach balls called Amazeballs. Yes, really.

Like the ancient ruins in Rome, you'll just be walking along and oh, HELLO AMAZING STREET ART.

Like the ancient ruins in Rome, you’ll just be walking along and oh, HELLO AMAZING STREET ART.

Down the lane way - a gallery of street art.

Down the lane way – a gallery of street art. And a whole lot of dodgy graffiti too.

A funky bar tucked into a tiny lane way.

A funky bar tucked into a tiny lane way.

Lane way restaurants and cafes.

Lane way restaurants and cafes.

The Blender Lane Artists' Market, where I met an amazing lady selling incredible photos mounted on reclaimed wood to raise money for orphanages and schools they're building in Africa. This lady volunteers a lot of her time in addition to her day job as a domestic violence social worker. Just amazing.

The Blender Lane Artists’ Market, where I met an amazing lady selling incredible photos mounted on reclaimed wood to raise money for orphanages and schools they’re building in Africa. This lady volunteers a lot of her time in addition to her day job as a domestic violence social worker. Just awesome. Other than that, I was the only non-tattooed dork in that crowded Lane, I tell you. 

And sometimes, a lane way is just a normal trashy lane way. Even in Melbourne.

And sometimes, a lane way is just a normal trashy lane way. Even in Melbourne.

This franchised fast food operation has to have one of the best names on the planet.

This Melbourne institution, a franchised fast food operation (errr derrr) has to have one of the best names on the planet. 

The beginning of the Queen Victoria Markets night time session with market stalls, heaps of bands, lots of food and drinks, and a bzillion people enjoying the summer sun.

The beginning of the Queen Victoria Markets night time session with market stalls, heaps of bands, lots of food and drinks, and a bzillion people enjoying the summer sun. Such a great atmosphere, though the market stalls weren’t that interesting.

And on a really hot night after a really hot day, nothing beats an old school handmade lemonade slushie. In a bio cup, because that's so Melbourne. Love it.

And on a really hot night after a really hot day, nothing beats an old school handmade fresh lemonade slushie. In a bio cup, because that’s so Melbourne. Love it.

6 Comments »

A unique urban forest in Melbourne

I’m in Melbourne for a few days and yesterday as I walked past the little City Square part of town, I noticed some brightly coloured trees. I was on my way to meet a friend though, so couldn’t stop to check them out. This morning, I went back to have a look at these amazing beauties that are brightening up the CBD – a yarn bombing initiative to draw attention to Melbourne’s urban forest plans, as far as I can work out. Whatever about the plans to preserve the city’s trees over the next 20 years (see, I did actually have a look at the website that was advertised on the trees, so their clever plan is working), these colourful tree cardigans and quilts have won me.

And it does get quite cold here in the winter, so I hope that they leave them on for a while – am sure the trees will feel quite naked without them. Good job, city of Melbourne – your razzle dazzle urban forest attention-grabber is fabulous!

A yarn-bombed City Square, Melbourne.

A yarn-bombed City Square, Melbourne.

A bizarre rainbow of woolly trees...

A bizarre rainbow of woolly trees…

A blue granny blanket at the tram and bus stop.

A blue granny tree blanket at the tram and bus stop.

Keeping it green.

Keeping it green.

Sure brightens up this part of the CBD, with lots of trees wrapped down the street.

Sure brightens up this part of the CBD, with lots of trees wrapped down the street.

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Well hello, kitty

I was trying to avoid another Valentine’s Day post, but then I came across this shop in a Valentine’s Day gift collection on etsy and thought it was just kooky enough to share with you. Who knows, but your Valentine may even have four legs – no judgement here, my friend. Or perhaps your furry pal has been invited to a fancy dress party, or has a job interview or an X-Factor audition coming up. Whatever the case may be, I am tipping that this place will be able to help.

Notso Kitty is the shop, stocked with accessories created by Wendy in Boston, USA. Wendy makes a range of festive hats, glasses and headbands. For cats. In case you don’t believe me, here are some photos – the models are Wendy’s cats, Fluffy and Notso Fluffy.

And even if you’re not in the market for cat-wear, it’s always a good idea to start the week with pictures of funny looking animals, right?

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

O'Kitty all ready for St Patrick's Day.

O’Kitty all ready for St Patrick’s Day.

Good ol' pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

Good ol’ pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

And I have nothing more to add. Inspired? You can check out Notso Kitty on etsy here.

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