Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Still blue....

James Poggin 1991-2009
On the weekend, our beloved Jimmy passed away. He was heading towards his 18th birthday but somehow we still weren't ready for it. He will be so hugely missed. I'm so glad that we've had some fun in the past 6 months, and took him to the beach just last weekend. He even managed to enjoy a pig's ear (a favoured treat) the day before he died.

You might remember that Jimmy did a brilliant job of selecting my giveaway winner earlier this year. I thought I'd take this opportunity to remember a few Jimmy stories so I can come back and read them whenever I feel sad. Grab a cuppa - this is going to be long.

Jimmy was originally my step-sister's dog and that's where he was ruined. From day one, he slept on her bed and ate whatever he liked. He never took to being disciplined, and nor did anyone put much effort into it. I think he may have attended puppy school but I'm sure that's just where he learned about snacks.

Over the years, with the comings and goings of family members (we tend to move countries as often as most people move houses) Jimmy came under the watchful eye of our parents. I think they attempted to set down some ground rules, but Jimmy was a good manipulator (far more cunning than he often appeared).

When he moved in with me about 10 years ago he was still carrying on like a puppy (in fact, that only changed in the last year). The day he moved in, he came barrelling down the hallway, pissed on the kitchen doorway, then ran outside and jumped into the pond. He always loved the water (and a few weeks later, when the neighbours installed a pond, he broke into their yard for a swim).

He was a bit of an escape artist, and for a while was escaping daily though we couldn't work out how. It turns out he was getting over the back fence (using a pile of wood as a ramp) where he would eat the food of the 3-legged dog living there before kicking the dog out of it's doghouse so he could have a nap and some shelter from the rain. Too rude! Especially considering he had food and shelter at home! We put a stop to that as soon as we figured out how he was escaping - thankfully the owner of the little 3-legged dog was quite forgiving (but did take our phone number in case it happened again).

Jimmy returned from one of these unsolicited trips one day with a bag of minced meat. We can only assume someone had left it on a windowsill to thaw and he just couldn't resist (thought I doubt he tried very hard to).

His most famous escape was a few years earlier when he was living in Kalgoorlie with our parents. He went missing for a few days. There were tears as we thought he'd gone forever, lost to the bush. He returned one morning, and mum heard him bark. She ran out excitedly and gave him a hug - only to find (too late) that he was covered in shit. The 2 of them had to be hosed down outside. Rolling in stinky stuff was another of Jimmy's favourite pasttimes.

About 8-10 years ago, 2 of my closest friends got puppies and Jimmy became their teacher. Jimmy's can-do attitude taught his little friend Olive not to be afraid of the park and how to roll in stinky stuff (the 2 of them found a rotting bird to roll in when Olive was just a tiny thing, and they proudly came to show us - it took days to wash that stink out). Jimmy was like a dad to little Edie, with the 2 of them sharing a house in Edie's first year. If anything, this rekindled Jimmy's love for chewing on squeaky puppy toys, though not his ability to share them.

His internal clock was impeccable - dinner was at 5pm and his reminder was a single bark. He even adjusted for daylight savings. He also knew that breakfast brought snacks, and if we hit snooze too many times, he'd bark at us to GET UP!

As Jimmy hit his teens, we'd say things like "this will be his last Christmas" but he kept proving us wrong. I think his recent years in tropical New Caledonia worked wonders for his aging joints, and the laidback lifestyle suited him just fine. His eyes had started to fail him by then, and it was a relief that mum had retired so she could become his guide. He spent his last few years following her like a shadow. But please don't think he was a frail old man! He still enjoyed "rough games" and racing into the water at the beach.

Suddenly, he was an old man. He had fatty lumps, a dodgy shoulder, horrid breath, cataracts. He wasn't exactly the adorable puppy he had once been, but he was still so beautiful and I would certainly put up with his breath for a cuddle. And the important thing is that he was happy right to the end. When his time came, it was thankfully swift and peaceful.

I'm going to miss him so much and don't know that I'll ever meet another dog like him. I doubt it - he was one of a kind. xx

Monday, July 27, 2009


Better late than never, right? Blue photos for the A&A Challenge. Green photos in the next couple of days, then I promise I'll stick to the schedule! You can see all the submissions here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wasabi Wagyu anyone?....

A chip company here in Australia is running a competition to find a new chip flavour. Mr Stink came up with Wasabi Wagyu so I thought I'd whip up an entry and submit it. I'm not really convinced that it's a winner, but I do think it's funny. My photoshop skills are very amateur, but I managed to turn a photo I took in New Zealand into a green cow, so I'm learning.

This week has flown by and suddenly I'm off on a mini-break tonight! We're heading to wine country, so I anticipate a few days of wine and cheese and warming fires. It means you'll have to wait until next week to see my new designs. Plus I still haven't posted my blue photos for the A&A Challenge, so you can expect the blues and the greens when I return on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In shock....

You may recall that I recently wrote about a competition being hosted on a plate a day to find the 200th plate for the blog. Imagine my surprise when I found my plates have been chosen! I'm still a bit overwhelmed, as there were some brilliant entries, all of which will make an appearance on the blog in the coming weeks. A big thank you to judge Karen Templer for appreciating my sense of humour, and to painted fish studio for nominating me. I'm so looking forward to receiving my prize! Must sit down, feeling giddy. :D

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blue delay....

So I'm not quite ready to post my blue photos for the Amelie & Atticus Challenge. I'm just not happy with what I've done, so give me a day or 2. Ok? :)

Monday, July 20, 2009


For the first time in a very long time, the sunday project had a constructive weekend! The extremely wet weather meant I couldn't be distracted as easily as I usually am, and as a result I accomplished things I've had on my "to do" list for a very long time. Having said that, I'm not going to show you any of them today (what a tease!).

Instead I'd like to share the sketchbook of Alex Eben Meyer which was a feature over at Design*Sponge last week. I love his style and wish I could draw like this. I need a LOT more practice.

I'll be back during the week to show you what I've been working on....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Ok, so I'm a little late posting my photos for the Amelie & Atticus Challenge - it's turning out to be one of those weeks. Forgive me.

This week's colour was red (obviously) and I thought I'd stick with a theme - fire hydrants (again, kind of obvious). I pass plenty of hydrants on my way to the office every morning so finding them wasn't a problem, and it was a good exercise in overcoming the embarassment of taking photos of odd things amidst peak-hour foot-traffic in the city.

I've imposed some rules of my own on the A&A Challenge. Namely, all images must be in portrait orientation and no cropping or adjustment is permitted. It means I have to put more thought into the composition when I'm taking photos which can only be a good thing. You can see what the rest of the challengers submitted here.

(P.S. Don't blame me if your dog pees on your computer).

Friday, July 10, 2009

One little studio....

I'm taking part in some reciprocal blog love today. I was super chuffed when Kylie over at one little studio wrote about the sunday project on her blog today. I've been meaning to do a post about Kylie's blog for a while but was just waiting for her posts to be a little more frequent! Kylie is a freelance graphic designer/illustrator and Sarah Blasko lover. At the moment she's showcasing lots of beautiful finds, but I'm looking forward to her showing off some more of her own brilliant work. I bet you all are too....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

i heart diem chau....

For me, last week's exposé of ceramics just wasn't enough - I missed out so many people I admire! So I'm back with another one. This plate is the work of Diem Chau. Isn't it brilliant?! It appears to be an embroidered plate. I've figured out how it's done, but won't spoil the illusion. She also has a blog and a great flickr set of her art. You MUST go and take a look at her carved crayons! Go on!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blanket update....

As you may know, I'm a contributor over at the blanket magazine blog. It's a great outlet for me to share some of the cool stuff I find on the net and around town - but you know that because you read all my posts! I thought I'd give you a couple of updates - firstly, you can now subscribe to the magazine for $12USD per year (what a frickin' bargain!), and you have one more week to get your submission in for inclusion in the next issue. Go for it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I was doing my usual rounds of blogs and sites last week when I came across something on the wonderful Frankie site. Amelie and Atticus is a blog running a year long challenge which started on the 1st of July. To copy+paste out of sheer laziness: "Each week there will be a challenge to take 4 photos and create 1 craft project in response to a given theme". This month's theme is colour, and the first week's colour is yellow. Things are just getting started, but you'll be able to check out the photos here.

For this week's challenge, I wanted to have a play with blur. I've noticed that I've been admiring blurry photos lately, so I thought I'd take some of my own. Check them out on flickr if you're wondering what they are....

Monday, July 6, 2009

How timely....

Thanks to a twittering Skinny laMinx, I now know about A plate a day. The blog is hosting a contest for post #200. You just need to comment with a url to your favourite plate and you could win the beautiful plate above in return. Obviously the problem is picking a favourite plate. I know you'll all pick one of my plates, but what will I pick!! :P

Friday, July 3, 2009

I heart trixie delicious....

I love these plates. They make me laugh. Each one is a vintage handpainted plate, so you know it's unique. Trixie is based in New Zealand and when I was living there I often saw her work at markets and regret not buying myself a piece. Not to worry - I'll be back there at the end of the year so will track something down for my new kitchen. Besides, if Trixie's work is good enough for Meg White of The White Stripes, then it's good enough for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I heart karin & camilla....

Further to my last ceramic-love post, I bring you the work of Karin Eriksson, and more specifically her collaboration with Camilla of Studio Violet. These works are from their show last year, and they're currently working on their next show which will be held at manos (in Solna, Sweden) next month. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with (online only unfortunately). Karin is also the brains behind manos. Impressive.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I heart studio violet....

Now I'm not into cutesy design, but I love the ceramics by Studio Violet. They are so lovely! Again, hard to limit myself to showing off just a few photos, so be sure to take a look at their site for more lovely shots.

Studio Violet use the same technique that I used for creating my plates, so I'm interested from that perspective also. And I love the colours they choose.

(Studio Violet are Camilla Engman and Elizabth Dunker, who both have great blogs too).