Posted in Sparks in the wild

Friday Foto – Things I never thought I’d own…

Happy Friday to you! I was very excited to receive a package from Kathmandu this morning. (That’s the big Australian outdoor retailer, not the capital of Nepal.) We started our Camino trekking training last weekend with a fantastic 18km round trip from The Spit to Manly. I wanted to take photos of the bzillion beautiful spots along the way, but I didn’t want to mess with our momentum. Next time.

Anyways, this walk made me realise that I need some more outdoorsy trekking gear if I want to do this thing properly. So, in the first of what I’m sure will be many, here’s a pic of something that I have bought that I never thought I’d own in this lifetime. It’s a 2 litre water bladder. So I don’t have to carry pesky water bottles and stop to drink – no way man, now I can just suck water through this tube and KEEP ON TREKKIN’.

Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn't leak through my backpack...
Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn’t leak through my backpack…
Posted in Sydney sparks

Rubber Duck goes to the Festival

Yesterday, my friend B and I went to check out Rubber Duck at Darling Harbour here in Sydney. Rubber Duck is pretty much what you’d imagine him to be – if you have ever imagined a giant yellow duck that is five stories high and five stories wide. He is here for the Sydney Festival and has really brightened up the place. Created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, Rubber Duck is part of a collection of larger-than-life urban sculptures, which Hofman hopes will “astonish audiences and give them a new perspective on public spaces”.

Pic taken by my friend Jane as Rubber Duck arrived in style through the open bridge at Darling Harbour on Saturday.
Pic taken by my friend Jane as Rubber Duck arrived in style (with a little help from a tug boat), swimming through the open bridge at Darling Harbour on Saturday.
Good afternoon, Rubber Duck.
Rubber Duck, at home in Sydney.

Mission accomplished with your Rubber Duck, Mr Hofman. You’ve said that his purpose is “to do no more than amaze” and while he amazes, he also puts goofy smiles on visitors’ faces as they enjoy his sunshine-bright yellowness and the memories he stirs – mostly of Ernie from Sesame Street. Rubber Duck has toured the world, but am sure he’s enjoying his current home in the very public bath tub of Darling Harbour.

Brightening up the view for some city office workers.
Brightening up the view for some city office workers.

If you like ducks, sunshine, photo opportunities or smiles, this Festival event is well worth a visit. Rubber Duck is in town until January 23 – you can read more about the Sydney Festival and Rubber Duck here.

The end.
The end.

And if you can’t make it, or even if you can, here’s an old favourite – I’m sure Ernie would be awfully fond of the giant Rubber Duck too…

Posted in Arty sparks, Home sparks, Uncategorized

Oh deer

I’m not sure where you stand on hunting. I don’t mean hunting for bargains at your favourite shop, I mean chk chk boom – there goes a defenceless deer / duck / clay pigeon. Hunting in the British Royal Family or Sarah Palin style. Hunting that sometimes leads to someone stuffing the head of the dead thing and sticking it on an otherwise perfectly nice piece of wood so that you can put it on display in your lounge room or men’s lodge or wherever. I don’t really get it, I must say, and have never understood the appeal. (NB, hunting for goodies at the post-Christmas sales, however, I understand completely.)

So I’m not sure if I should like this collection on etsy as much as I do. Bree in Los Angeles makes plush faux taxidermy figures and mounts them on wood, ready for displaying as a “creature trophy” in your home or office. Or kid’s bedroom, as long as it wouldn’t freak them out. These hand-stitched felt animals look nice and friendly – clearly they did not meet a horrible end like those other poor taxidermied critters. Bree has given her animals names and they seem to have a real personality. Well, as much as a felt head can.

I especially like her “backwards faux taxidermy” pieces. Whether you see it as a funny little bear trying to get back through the wall, or a stinging attack on hunters everywhere, there is a lot to like about this collection. If you have some space on your wall that could do with an animal friend (well, part of an animal friend), you can check out Bree’s etsy shop here.

Posted in Sparks in the wild

Fit for the birds

If you’re up for a different kind of holiday, or at least a different kind of holiday accommodation, you might want to check out this bizarro ‘bird’s nest sphere’ accommodation in Canada (Vancouver Island, to be precise). I saw it on Trip Advisor and it sounds like all kinds of wacky. According to the owner: Once one breaks contact with the ground, energy shifts. The magical environment of the forest canopy conjures up thoughts of elves and fairies. One can feel the presence of the forest. That presence seems to dwell in the canopy where it can watch the meanderings below. Like, totally.

For under $200 per night, you could be tucked away in this spaceage Spherical Tree House, which apparently ‘rocks with the breeze’. And rolls with the stronger winds, presumably. They say it’s a marriage of tree house and sailboat technology. Yep, that’s really what they say. There are a whole lot of details on the website and it certainly sounds complicated – the sphere is “accessed by a spiral stairway and short suspension bridge”, which to me sounds like the way to get to heaven (or at least a neighbouring village), rather than your room, but whatevs.

A word of warning – choose your travel season carefully, as a hazard of life in the forest is trees and branches falling in a strong wind or ice storm. A sphere distributes any impact stress throughout the skin and resists puncture or cracking. But when the company that owns them is called Free Spirit Spheres Inc, could you really be sure?

Safe travels, to the Spherical Tree House and beyond.