Posted in Life sparks

Some very good advice…

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the festive season, I thought I would share some excellent advice from my lovely niece Laura, aged 9. This was part of a homework assignment last week. I really do think that this little book, Recipes of Advice, could come in handy for children and adults all around the world. Including, you know, political leaders and diplomats and HR professionals. And meanies.

Recipes Of Awesome, more like.
Some excellent suggestions.
Some excellent suggestions.
And I take this opportunity to say, 'thank you in general' to my fantastic parents.
And may I take this opportunity to say, ‘thank you in general’ to my fantastic parents.
A good friend indeed.
A good friend indeed.


So many gems to consider – love you and your work, Laura Grace. xoxo

Posted in Arty sparks, Fashion Sparks

Picture perfect jewellery

Sometimes, you need to write something down, but you don’t have a pen handy. Or you really want to draw a picture to explain what you’re saying, but you don’t have any coloured pencils with you. This post could be for you. Or maybe you like jewellery that is pretty and practical – funk-tional – and you’re looking for a new ring. Or you’ve always wanted to be the artistic equivalent of Edward Scissorhands – Jonathon Pencilhands or Albert Paintbrushhands. Whatever, this post is for you too.

For these, my friends, are Crayon Rings. Such a simple, yet clever, idea by Timothy Liles.  For sale on the cool design website Generate, these brightly coloured rings, cast in washable crayon come in a set of 8. That’s right, for less than $50 US, you can add eight new rings to your jewellery box and eight new crayons to your pencil case. And, you know, draw colourful stuff with your accessories.

But what if you accidentally draw in the wrong place? Or colour something that should have been black & white? Fear not, this Eraser+ing by ahead creative will solve your problems. Featuring bright colours and a ‘mild fruity scent’, a set of five costs less than $40 US.

If you’d like to check out these rings, or a whole heap of other kooky stuff, you can find the Generate online store here.

Posted in Sparks at work

Buona Pasqua (and The Sticker Economy)

This is the card that my niece Fox made this week in her Italian class (in her first year at high school), presumably to reassure the parents that the girls are at least covering the key festivities in their Italian lessons. The teacher (known as the mysterious “Prof C”) sounds like a truly eccentric Italian lady and it’s great to witness Fox’s Italian vocab and accent improving so quickly.

Prof C also appears to be running her classroom as a sort of alternate State, with its own currency – scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers. I didn’t even know that they made such things anymore, so perhaps the State is like a former Soviet territory, with slightly out-of-date music, fashion and stationery items. Anyhoo, the way the State economy works is thus: if you perform well in a test (8/10), then you are awarded one sticker to add to your workbook; if you perform really well in a test (10/10), then you are awarded two stickers to add to your workbook. At the end of the year, the person with the most stickers will receive a prize (very practically, a sticker book and a pencil case).

The first of four school terms has just finished and as yet it sounds as though there is no black market for scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers after class in the school hallways. But I like to think that by Term 3, some enterprising regazza will have worked out a way to trade stickers, upgrade stickers and possibly even forge stickers to supplement the workbooks of students who haven’t scored so well.

Or perhaps – like so many other economies built on big dreams – Prof C’s State will collapse in a dramatic meltdown by the year’s end. The market will be flooded with stickers, devaluing them and causing the weaker students to dance on the desktops with glee, while the advanced students shred their workbooks (neatly) into the bin of broken promises. Now that’s an education.

Posted in Arty sparks, Sparky gifts, WWWhat?

Too cool for school

These amazing fine art prints from Angela Rossi in LA make me laugh. Out loud. (See kids, we used to say it like that before you lazied it into LOL.) With the animal tops perfectly matched to the old American yearbook bodies, you can just imagine these dudes roaming the halls of the local high school back in the day. Not wishing to stereotype, but I reckon Andrea the Giraffe (all animals named by the artist, I have just interpreted the characteristics) would be the studious library-at-lunchtime geek; Hunter the Hound is either smoking in the bathroom or saying dopey things at the back of the classroom; Ryan the Raccoon is the cool jock (with a beard); Timmy the Alpaca would be all about music/drama/dahnce; Heather the Persian Cat would be the uptight teacher’s pet and Rachelle the Cockatoo would just be annoying (with a cute blonde ponytail).

Check out more cool prints, plates and postcards at Angela’s etsy shop Beat Up Creations.