Hello again. It’s been a while since my last post. For a whole heap of reasons, I’ve been finding it a bit tricky to find my way back after my extended Camino break late last year. But what better way to come back than with some teeny tiny crocheted (if that’s a word) animals from Vietnam. Thuy Mai Thu is the genius behind LamLinh – a ‘mini crochet amigurumi world’. And now that I have googled it, I can tell you that amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. Uh huh.
I am not sure what you’re meant to do with these little guys, but I think the detail is incredible. And I admire anyone who chucks in their office job to pursue their passion – in this case, their passion for crocheting unbelievably tiny characters that can sit on your fingertips. Love your work, LamLinh!
If you would like to check out more of the LamLinh collection, the etsy store is here. You can even request a custom-made amigurumi – now that would make a winning anniversary gift / special birthday celebration / amigurumi collector’s dream…
I am having a feeling of deja vu, so apologies if you have been with my blog from the start and are hearing about my Christmas things for the second time. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing my nativity scene with you today – it’s another part of my collection that is guaranteed to make me laugh every year, as I release the players from their 11 month bubble wrap storage.
I can’t remember where I got this set, but these guys have been part of my family for many years now. They are so clumsily painted and bizarrely formed that I can only hope that I bought them from a charity shop. Whatevs, they fit my purchase requirements: a non-traditional nativity scene.
The gender of most of the gang is ambiguous, baby Jesus appears to be wearing lipstick, and I just don’t know about that shifty looking angel. The sheep look like clowns, there are two cows (not pictured, because they pretty much look like larger versions of the sheep + horns) and one of the politically incorrect wise men lost his head in a tragic accident last year (he made a run for it and fell off the display table). But my Dad fixed him right up with super glue and he’s back in action for the 2013 season.
On Saturday, my friend Jane and I hopped on the Art Gallery’s Art Bus with some other cool kids (not really) and went on a tour of some galleries around Sydney. Not the ooh la la, please buy an expensive catalogue, don’t touch the white walls kinda galleries, but spaces for emerging artists. The focus for this Art Bus trip was photography and, although not all of it was my cup of tea, it was interesting to visit some different places and see some (very) different art. A great way to spend an afternoon – you can check out more about the Art Bus (and our amazing Gallery) here.
It was a beautiful autumn day on Saturday and before our bus trip we wandered around the Botanic Gardens. Another amazing Sydney place (that is completely free to enjoy!) that I love, but don’t visit often enough. Jane was keen to show me some of the work of the Gardens’ 2012 Artist in Residence, Phillippa Carnemolla. There are some fantastic pieces of Phillippa’s jewellery for sale in the Gardens’ shop, inspired by plants and bugs and other stuff that Phillippa encountered during her year in the Gardens (not literally, am fairly sure she didn’t have to live up in a treehouse or anything).
The highlight was the centrepiece of Phillippa’s work – the Breathing Conifer. It was designed by Phillippa and made with the help of a lot of kids who would otherwise not have been involved in art – kids from respite centres, youth groups & disability programs. They helped by colouring in all of those beautiful panels and the Conifer now hangs in the Fernery of the Gardens. They say that it ‘pulses with a gentle heartbeat’ and it’s kinda true – there is a mechanism inside it that inflates and deflates the Conifer and it is very calming as you relax your breathing to match it. Just the thing for those stressed out office workers in the ‘hood.
If you’re in or around the Gardens, I highly recommend checking it out – especially if you could do with some de-stressing. You can read more about it on the Gardens’ website here.
A recent sale at Fab.com shared the work of C.G.Sparks (no relation) with the caption ‘artful animal-free taxidermy’. A niche market, to be sure. But I do like these wall trophies, celebrating someone’s skill with recycled rope and creative accessories rather than someone’s skill with a powerful weapon aimed at an animal just chillaxing in the woods. And although I’ve not yet seen a bear or lion or elephant in the wild, I’m tipping these ropey versions come in much cooler colours.
You can check out other cool things via the curated sales at fab.com here – and although I can’t find these taxidermy friends on the C.G. Sparks website, they do have lots of other pretty great stuff (they call it ‘furniture with soul’) for your home here.
I’m not an artist, so I’m frequently left in awe of people with artistic talent. And when an artist uses some wacky materials in their work, so much the better, I say. Which is why I was so excited to discover the work of Malaysian artist-architect Hong Yi (nickname Red) via one of my favourite sites: designboom. One of Red’s latest projects is ’31 Days Of Creativity With Food’. Sounds good. Looks AMAHZING! Here are some of my favourites…
You can check out more great pics on the designboom site here and there are more amazing projects on Red’s official website here. Such incredible talent and imagination, I’m truly in awe.