Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just kicking down the cobble stones

While I digest all the comments on the Arts and Crafts post, here are a couple more Melbourne photos. Above, a Chapel St, Prahran shop window. And the one below was taken in the CBD.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy little bubble head

I often find myself feeling trapped when asked about "what I've been up to", when the things that are most exciting to me, most voluptuously inhabiting my brain, are the things I'm making or thinking about making. I often feel I am bursting with unrealised and partially realised creative ideas. I just don't know how to share this with others, that I'm not doing these things only to kill time or occupy "idle hands".

When I tell people I do various craft things - knitting, making jewellery, cross stitch - as the words come out, a certain sort of picture paints itself. How do you tell people, especially those who don't haunt Craftster (its motto: no tea cosies without irony) or hundreds of modern brilliant creative blogs? That you like to make things... but not teddy bears or doileys, particularly.

So there is a problem with "craft".

But I definitely can't get comfortable with "art" either. In my immediate family, those who have studied at Art School outnumber those who haven't (and I haven't). When I think about art I tend to focus on the conceptual end of the spectrum. An artist has something to say, and the medium may even be secondary to the message. Innovation is critical. A lot of the time I am making stuff from a pattern or instructions, and the level of originality varies - with knitting I'm not good enough yet to be inventing much. With jewellery I don't follow a pattern, but I'm hardly inventing new forms, just making things I like to wear or that suit others for gifts. I can see potential for some of my crafty pursuits to move in the direction of "art". But that's not explicitly my aim anyway, and what do you call that middle ground?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the meanings and uses of "art" and "craft". I know the distinctions are not black and white. To me craft suggests more of a focus on materials and processes and possibly functionality as well. Whereas art is more about self-expression. I believe many people make works that do all of this at once.

Please join in with a comment or an email if you prefer.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where the palm trees have it hard

Luna Park Scenic Railway, the only rollercoaster operating from this period - 1912.

St Kilda's Mr Moon is a bit more menacing than the Sydney one.

Sunday morning markets.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

St Kilda cake shops

Acland Street cake shops with gorgeous display windows.

(as always, click on the photo to see it bigger)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You're drinkin' whiskey when it should be wine

This was just one of a series of marvellous melbourne meals. And oddly, the only one I managed to photograph. I seriously did not have an even slightly sub-par meal while I was there. Oh, we decided not to count that one ill-advised food court foray... there were extenuating circumstances.

Basically this is a corn fritter with avocado and a poached egg on top, garnished with rocket (but no pushy evidence of a bulk rocket buy) and a pesto dressing. It might have had a slightly fancier name and description, which I don't remember. Normally I like my poached eggs pretty well done but I was convinced to take this one as designed. The yolk soaks into the corn fritter and tastes fabbo.

We ate in a variety of cafes and restaurants that we happened across, or that E chose based on Entertainment Book discounts. So it's not like we were using some kind of good food guide. I think standards are just really high there.

I feel like I might be a little bit late to the foodie party, saying this. I tend to order an item in which I like all the ingredients, and it tastes ok all together. But with a really good meal (read: all my Melbourne meals) the ingredients combine to make more than just the sum of their parts. Even something seemingly 'modular' like a salad or a foccacia, still tasted like something special. I almost didn't want to stay in that town too much longer, for fear of becoming more fussy when eating out back in Canberra.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


We're back, we didn't get lost, and the toilets were all of adequate quality. My main impression of Melbourne? One amazing meal after another. More soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006

ROooooooad Triiip!

As we're about to drive to Melbourne for a few days, we dug out the old map from the last time (something like eight or nine years ago). Click to see bigger versions.

That's about 67 cents a litre

Also, some handy notes to remember.

I'm left wondering: are those toilets at Lake's Entrance still great? Will the navigator heed his own advice to take 'care reading street signs' at Rosedale?