Friday, October 31, 2008
I just can't stop posting things on here. It is now Officially Looking Like I Don't Have a Life. But Who cares?
This is another little mixed media collage featuring that Iconic Model from the fifties, Lisa Fossagrives. You'd be forgiven for not recognising her because I made her look like a Crack Addict, which I'm sure she wasn't. I've given her a little jewelled headress & placed her inside a horse's head but I am not meaning to compare her to one.
I believe Lisa was married to another Icon, the photographer Irving Penn.
Ever since I've been dumped, I've been gradually colonizing my apartment. Pre-dumping, I had exercised restraint. But not anymore. This week I've taken over the bedroom. The chest of drawers features an old plastic torso covered with my own handmade necklaces. It has a little Japanese head with a long white lump of hair that I find quite curious. Then there's the copy of an old pre-Factory Andy Warhol drawing of a shoe that was a gift from a student. I just love doll's house furniture. It's quite hard to buy. But I just found the little tables at a two dollar shop. Alice in Wonderland is sitting on the top of the chest, & tiny Mexican plastic guardian angels that I got in LA this year are on the dressing tables.
All along the bench under the window is my collection of current books & obsessions & on the bottom left is a picture of my Mother who I often mention. Above her is my Godmother Dawn who hasn't spoken to me for about thirty years. I'm not sure what I've done. But I still appreciate her Godmotherliness when I was a child.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Finally, I'm able to proudly display my wonderful Blog award that was bestowed on my by La Belette Rouge. I was so pleased! And thank you!
The reason why it took so long was because I really had to stop & think about what blogs I would pass on the award to. It's not that I read a lot of blogs. I wish that I did because I find so many interesting & inspiring in their own way. But time is a bit of an issue, as I'm sure it is for everyone.
And because I'm a flickr wardrobe remixer I do look at a lot of young people's blogs because they're mostly the ones who post on wardrobe remix. I must admit I feel a little creepy about reading them because I'm old enough to be their mother.
God, I'm full of Pathetic Little Excuses.
Let's just Cut to the Chase.......
Here's seven great blogs that I'd like to pass the award on to:
squirlaraptor This talented blogger is also a well known wardrobe remixer. Her blog features wonderful photography.
whatiwore2day is one of the top contributors to the flickr wardrobe remix pool. Her extremely detailed outfits & great enthusiasm are an inspiration to many.
kellyloveswhales showcases the great art & outfits by a wonderful yoga teacher & (I think) environmental lawyer.
dlittlegarden takes us into the Wide & Wonderful World of Etsy. Discover great vintage & hand made designs.
Iheartfashion at allthingsstyle is a Personal Shopper who not only has great style but writes in a really punchy way. I love it.
Sheila at Ephemera poses some thoughtful fashion dilemmas & showcases her daily outfits. Classy & Stylish.
Darla at seeyouthere is a great one for Art Swapping which I think is a great way to boost your creativity. She also writes the best comments which I enjoy enormously. So generous.
Sadly, all those blogs are Not Australian. Not One. I'll have to go & find some
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I've always loved Winston Churchill. And I particularly loved his wit & rudeness. Can you see one of his famous sayings is on my collage?
One of my favourite Little Winston Vignettes is when he was behaving badly at a dinner party. Some Toad Dowager said, 'Sir, You Are Drunk!' Quick as a flash, he replied 'Madam, I AM drunk, but when I wake up in the morning I won't be. But You, Madam are ugly. And sadly, you'll still be ugly in the morning'.
Just in case you didn't bother reading Winston's saying on the collage, I'll tell you what it says: 'Success is going from one failure to the next without any loss of enthusiasm'. I've always loved this & thought it was a great attitude to have.
But now I'm not so sure, particularly if you want to be more like Oprah, which I might want to be but haven't mentioned until now. I'm certainly keen to make some more money so I can go on overseas trips & not worry that the Australian dollar is almost worthless again. And have other homes dotted around the place. And give large sums of money to favourite causes at the drop of a hat. And buy expensive skin care products & procedures. Oh, and have root canal therapy and maybe a couple of tooth implants & expensive whitening. I'd still buy Thrift Shop Outfits though.
Back to the collage. It's got many of my favourite things on it. Marianne Faithfull, David Suchet as Poirot, Joan Crawford, English Schoolgirl Annuals of the fifties, The English actress Margaret Rutherford who played Miss Marple, Bette Davis, Frida Kahlo, Japanese Fashion, the Super-Old artist, Louise Bourgeois, Death Valley & Old Queen Mary.
Anyone got any favourites?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here she is dressed for her big Drunken Party scene in my favourite Bette film, 'All About Eve'. It was made in about 1950 when she was just forty. She looks miles older. Probably because of all the smoking & being cranky with everyone.
The text is one of my Mild Little Ironic Jokes.
Bette Davis was one of the least cool people on the planet, & I loved her for it.
Artwork by me.
On another topic, was ssooooo thrilled to be given an Honest blog award by Jane from workthat wardrobe & also an award from la belette rouge.
I've spent hours this evening trawling through endless blogs trying to find fourteen blogs that I will give my awards to. So far I've come up with ten. Four to go. Can't believe how many great blogs there are out there. Why would you bother buying magazines?
Thank you so much belette & Jane.
I quickly posted it this morning on to my flickr photostream, but because I was in a hurry didn't bother to write a comment. JanaviNYC asked whether I had suddenly become extravagant & BeeBeeKay wanted to know the story behind the Large Designer Bag dangling from my arm like I owned it.
Both these fellow flickr travellers are familiar enough with my wardrobe to know that this bag just couldn't be mine. And they were right.
It belongs to K, another regular at 'Zinc' cafe who is a Stylish Stylist. I spied her sitting at a table nursing the bag & couldn't resist interrupting her breakfast, gushing all over the bag & then getting her to take my photo with it.
Luckily K is v. good natured & didn't seem to mind. She also doesn't seem to mind answering a whole lot of questions that I think that a Stylist should know. Things like, does she think that 'Diptyque' candles are worth the ridiculous price (No, because they no longer burn properly); is the New Re-Launch of Chanel No. 5 just the same old Cat's Wee re-packaged in a Slick Bottle (Yes) & has Tom Ford had Cosmetic Surgery (who cares?)
But back to The Bag. It has a Name. It's called The Hysteria Bag. I was immediately intrigued & felt a strong identification with it. I wonder why. Because it's mainly made of PVC with v. little leather & no extravagant Dangly Bits, The Hysteria is a steal for about $1200 Australian dollars. Apparently the designer is mining the Gucci archives & using an original logo which is the Big Knob in the middle of the bag.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Now that I've mentioned a few of my colleagues in our Staff Study, everyone wants to be featured. Actually, that's not quite true. It's just The Blondes.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
But here's a little painted collage I did of him as a poor pathetic old man with a tube coming out of his mouth sitting in a comfortable armchair on an old boat with his Famous Melting Clocks as sails.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Yesterday I wore yellow leggings to school. I'm not sure about them because even though they are located at the lower end of my body, they tend to send a sickly glow upwards . And even though Yellow has become The Fashion Colour de Jour, or at least I think it has, it's dodgy.
My staffroom is Formally Known as The Humanities Staffroom. This is an accurate title because there's certainly alot of Humanity in it. Talk can often Turn to Fashion particularly now that we have some stylish Young Ones, like the fab Princess P, pictured above.
But yesterday our fashion talk turned just a Bit Nasty, & I loved it.
At recess, a colleague, Ernestina, a teacher roughly my age who also enjoys fashion, took one look at the yellow tights & said Something Disapproving. I can't quite remember what it was, maybe she compared my legs to a chicken's . I immediately became enraged & began to open my mouth to say, 'Get Effed'. But I quickly remembered my policy about behaving like The Queen Mother at all times, so I closed my mouth & waited for someone to defend me.
Sure enough, my friend Trixie said to Ernestina, 'At least she doesn't look like Mouton Done Up as Lamb, like some people around here'.
I just loved it!
But, to be honest, Ernestina could be right. I think it's time to retire the whole footless tights/legging thing anyway, particularly now that summer's supposedly coming.
I loved the comments I got about my bout of Self-Pity and particularly liked hearing the term, 'Pity Party' which I hadn't heard before. Thank you.
My friend Marge reminded me of the, was it Overwhelming Sadness, Misery... even Self-Pity perhaps? of writers like Sylvia Plath & Charles Bukowski. I haven't read anything by him since at least 1979. Back then, if you were a little bit disaffected or felt that you'd like to be, Charley B was your kind of guy. I personally couldn't stomach him because reading his stories made me feel like I had a hangover, even when I didn't. And I kept on imagining how ugly & smelly he'd be In Real Life. Sometimes when I start thinking how unappealing an artist or a writer is, it ruins everything for me. Like with Salvador Dali. I've always loved his paintings but since reading about how he had a really bad case of Bad Breath, it's never been quite the same.
But looking at pictures of Sylvia Plath, like that seductive but wholesome one above doesn't turn my stomach. Only the fact that she made food for her kids & then went & stuck her head in the oven. Knowing that about her has made it hard for me to teach her poems. But I do occasionally teach them.
The good news is that I'm Not Sylvia Plath! And I'm definitely NOT the 'old woman (who) rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish'.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's Sunday Night & I thought I'd better sit down & Blog.
It's been a few days since my last entry & I always feel that if I don't keep it up, My Whole Blogging Empire will collapse in Ruins.
It's not that I haven't had plenty of time to write a whole huge novel in Blog Form over the weekend, but you see, I've been busy enmeshed in Self-Pity.
Yes, dear Reader, I seemed to have spent most of the weekend feeling Sorry for Myself. It's an Art that I learned at my Mother's Knee. I've never met anyone who felt more sorry for herself than Mum. She was the sort of person that it was unwise to ask how she was because she'd REALLY tell you in a Very Detailed & Sad Way. It was particularly gruesome after she got bowel cancer & had a colostomy.
I remember watching her ironing Dad's hankerchiefs one rainy day when I was about ten. I can't recall anything about our conversation other than her looking resigned & saying , 'I've had a hard life'. It was one of those remarks that echoes down the decades & still has the power to punch me in the guts. I couldn't understand what on earth she was talking about. Her life didn't look too hard to me. What's so hard about ironing men's hankies? Or grilling steak or Lamb chops? Or going to the dry cleaners? Or abusing shopkeepers?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
As the Nasty Nuns that taught me always said when they caught a poor girl doing Something Silly under their desk, 'Small things amuse small minds.'
Thank God for Small Things I say!
Today I'm wearing a rather boxy blouson top that has just a Hint of Shoulder Pad. Underneath is a patterned black & green hugely acrylic dress that I'm sure that is hardly visible because the photo is so bloody minute. I have to learn how to download larger photos to the blog, although this one has been lazily uploaded from my flickr site.
You may also notice that I'm standing in front of a picture of an Ancient TV set, not unlike the one that I grew up in front of. On the screen it says, 'Get outside your comfort zone'. And then there's arrows coming out of it.
I drew this in response to one of my Year 9 students saying that she tried reading our current set text, 'I Am the Cheese' by Robert Cormier, but she couldn't finish it because 'it was too boring'.
I then asked the class what would be a good response to that comment. The Class Goody-Goody stuck up her hand & said that it doesn't matter how bored we get, we just have to think positive thoughts & read it anyway. I immediately wondered what character in 'Peanuts' this kid resembled.
I decided to end the discussion with drawing this picture & making them copy it into their books, which they did v. obligingly. I can't remember how I linked boredom with getting out of your comfort zone whatever that means, but somehow I did.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It looks like I'm channelling the Old Bag in the painting behind me. Maybe I did have her in the back of my mind while I was posing, but I was really trying to look Coquettish.
The photo instantly took me back to the early eighties when I was heavily involved in what was then known as The Personal Growth or the Human Potential Movement. My mother preferred to call it A Cult.
I spent thousands of dollars attending weekly courses & weekend workshops with names like 'Becoming a Complete Person' & 'Own Your Own Life' & 'The Breakthrough Course'.
'The Breakthrough' was a completely scary eight day course held in a horrible run down country hotel where our watches & any other Personal Crutches were taken away from us by & they wouldn't let us go to the bathroom for hours & hours. I kid you not.
It didn't do a thing for me, except perhaps to make me More Scared. Just what I needed.
The Charismatic Course Leaders believed in the Importance of Releasing Anger . One of their favourite group activities was to get participants hitting rubber baseball bats on mattresses while encouraging them to yell & scream, which was called 'Catharting'. If you 'Cartharted' long enough, you'd inevitably fall into a 'Past Life Regression', where of course you'd be taken back to playing with crystals in Atlantis, or find yourself somewhere deep inside the Pyramids in Ancient Egypt. Atlantis & Ancient Egypt were Must-See Destinations in any Past Life Experience. Sadly, I never got to go there.
But the worst experience I had was when they made individual videos of each course participant. You had to walk up to a video camera, then talk for a few minutes about yourself & say what you hoped to get out of the course. Then you had to sit in a huge group & watch all the videos, including your own. While you watched, everyone had to write little notes about each person & then hand the notes to them With Love. Just about everyone wrote really nasty stuff like 'You're hiding behind your beard' or 'Stop Game Playing' or 'I feel Your Fear'.
Someone wrote about me, 'Love Me, I'm Helpless'. I remember being really devastated but of course pretending that it was the best, most honest feedback I'd ever had, & thank YOU so much for sharing.
Well, that's what today's expression reminds me of. But in an amusing way. And so what if it's true?
I'm also showing off my wonderful new gift. My colleague, Princess P brought me back the faux Chanel black beads from Hong Kong. I loved wearing them in just one long strand, but everyone else disagreed.
I'll think I'll stick with my own judgement.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've been reading 'Vogue' since I was an adolescent. At least I think I have. It certainly feels like it. But Pardon Me if I seem a little unsure. It's just that so much of my past feels as if it was made up or maybe happened to a different person.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Yesterday, as part of our Fun Holiday Activities, my daughter & I visited my my mother's grave. It's not at all morbid , partly because the cemetery is hugely interesting & as historic as Sydney can get & is also in this killer location on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I've been meaning to write a blog entry about Me & Paul Newman all week, & here it is.