everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Countdown to Halloween

Halloween is next week. It was never a thing when I was growing up in Sydney, but now it definitely is becoming a big thing here. You can tell because the $2 shops are full of pumpkin-shaped buckets, wizard dress-up kits, bags of spiders and webs – and the price of the humble straw broom has tripled. Last year, I went trick-or-treating with some of my nieces, in the streets around their neighbourhood. It was a great community set up and people really got into it – of course, I was there just for supervisory purposes and to enforce good manners…but I did manage to sneak a jelly rat and a sugared skull or two into my pocket. Some of the residents were delighted to come out and meet the kids and admire their costumes – others must have felt compelled to join in, as they just left buckets of lollies at the very perimeter of their property, presumably so they could barricade themselves inside and not be interrupted by the neighbourhood goblins.

I’m not sure if we’re going again this year, but I really feel like I should make up for the lifetime of trick-or-treating that I’ve missed. I need to find a costume though – the danger of turning up without one is that the kids will say, “Oh, you came as a witch – good one”. And it would take a lot of sugary treats to get over that…

Jack the pumpkin (2011)

Milly the dog wasn’t keen on wearing her costume.

A monster arrived straight from tae kwon do (hence the outfit and un-monsterlike shoulder bag).

Witches and devils on the hunt. For lollies, not souls.

Some neighbours went to a huge effort. At least, I don’t think these guys are here all year.

Happy Halloween, one and all. And please feel free to share any pics or tales of your Halloween festivities!

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Happy Shark Week!

I like to think that I’m a woman of the world and I know what’s going on…which is why I can’t believe that until yesterday I hadn’t heard of Shark Week. You probably already know all about it, but just in case you’re like me and have missed this festival in previous years, here’s a brief update. Shark Week started back in 1988 – it’s a creation of the Discovery Channel and is essentially a week-long series of TV shows about sharks. Apparently, it was developed to help the average person have a greater respect for sharks. And it’s now broadcast in over 72 countries. Uh huh.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Shark Week and the peeps at the Discovery Channel marketing machine have gone all out. In addition to the usual souvenir DVDs, books and t-shirts, you can also buy a heap of other wacky gear to show that you’re a friend of the sharks. Like this hat, for example.

Foam Fin Hat from the Shark Week Store

Or these cupcakes, custom-made in a Georgetown bakery. The toppers show a logo or a shark or A LONE HAND STICKING UP FROM THE OCEAN OF ICING. Not sure that image is helping the sharks’ cause, to be honest.

DC Cupcakes from the Shark Week Store

And then there’s this hoodie t-shirt (for adults and for kids) – if you hold your arms like you’re giving yourself a hug, you can scare the life out of people around you. Nothing says Happy Shark Week like a giant set of chompers headed your way.

Shark Week Hoodie from the Shark Week Store

Finally, here’s the ultimate Shark Week accessory for your canine companion – a Hammerhead Shark Pet Costume. It doesn’t seem quite right to me, but hey, anything goes in Shark Week!

Pet Costume from the Shark Week Store

So, I wish you and yours a very happy Shark Week. If you’d like to learn more about this Week, you can check out the Discovery Channel website here or head straight to the Shark Week Store to stock up on goodies here. A word of warning – when I checked, the website went straight to an auto-play video with a very scary voice over very scary music, “Deep beneath, a pre-dat-or is lurking…” Eeeeek – Happy Shark Week!

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Snappy dressin’ cats (and dogs)

I do like a portrait of an animal in clothes. There’s something about a cleverly matched animal head with a human’s outfit that makes me giggle every time. So, I was delighted to find Heather Mattoon Art on etsy – any shop whose promise is simply, “CATS AND DOGS IN CLOTHES” is alright by me. Here are some of my favourites…

This is George. Apparently, George is quiet, loves science, especially quantum theory, and feels that doctors should be more forthcoming with health advice despite the influence of the pharmaceutical companies.

And Cooper. Cooper is a deep thinker, his thoughts are profound. He walks alone from coffee shop to coffee shop carrying his journal.

Or Henry. Henry is not yet a teenager but likes to hang around the older crowd to feel a little bit cooler. He is wearing his favorite onesie pajamas.

But if dogs are more your thing… Stewart, oh Stewart, such a good natured boy. He enjoys very much organizing community meetings to raise awareness of societal issues. He provides all of the snacks as well.

Then there’s Theo. Theo lives in North Carolina in a newly remodeled home. He confuses people with his ironic sense of humor…he is what some people call a hipster.

And Sven. Sven spends his days looking after his grandmother. She lets him take her scooter to the shops. He is saving up for a motorcycle but right now he enjoys the Vespa.

Love your work, Heather Mattoon. If you’d like to check out more of Heather’s fabulous prints and originals, they are here.

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The Cat in the Hat(s)

A while back, I reported on the interesting range of knitted hats for pug dogs, available from an etsy shop (the post is here, if you missed it). The photos made me laugh, mostly because of the expressions on the poor dog model’s little face. I think he felt embarrassed, but soldiered on like a true professional. I now think I have found his feline equivalent – modelling for the etsy shop To Scarborough Fair. Here are some of the highlights…

This Native American inspired costume features a wig made of yarn, traditional headband and a real feather. Attached with a “comfortable elastic cord”, this costume is sure to impress even the coolest cats in the neighbourhood. And perhaps it will encourage a dialogue on the history of the Native American people (and cats) and promote a deeper understanding of their culture. Or perhaps it will just look totally awesome, and that will be enough.

Or you might like this artistic and slightly mysterious looking cat beret. For the sophisti-cat who enjoys a cafe au lait and croissant every now and again, whilst reading sad poetry and staring longingly into the distance. Ooh la la.

If your cat is more of a rule-following, early-rising, bossy-boots control freak, this Marine Captain hat might be just the ticket. Lesser cats (and possibly humans) will fall into line under the command of Cap’n Cat – just look at the expression of the cat in the photo: she means business. Aye aye, kitty.

And for the final image, I couldn’t decide between the Halloween themed witch’s hat or the beautiful spring hat. So here they are – whether your cat needs a scary costume for a party (or to stand up to that neighbourhood bullying dog) or a pretty spring hat to wear to the races or a garden party, this etsy shop will have a cap that fits.

If you now realise your cat is underdressed and needs to step it up a notch in the fashion stakes, or if you just want to look at more funny pictures of cats in hats, then you should definitely check out To Scarborough Fair here.

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