Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cirque Alfonse at Womadelaide

Another Womadelaide has come and gone. It was a great long, long weekend in Adelaide and I packed a lot in, as usual! One of the acts that made a big impact was advertised mysteriously in the program as a 'special guest'. I thought it might be one of the other bands in town for the Adelaide Festival; it didn't occur to me that an act would cross over from the Fringe.

It turned out to be Cirque Alfonse with their show BARBU: Electro Trad Cabaret. An old-fashioned circus act of incredible feats of strength, humour, and a bit of playful raunch.

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I was showing my friend these photos and when I mentioned the sword swallowing act she turned away. "I can't stand sword swallowing, it makes me feel awful to watch it, she said." I told her she would probably be ok with this one!

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For the most part these four bearded blokes stole the show with their incredible acrobatic feats of strength. (Above, and below again, that's one bloke holding the weight of three others).

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Their ribbon twirling game was excellent too.....

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and airborne ribbon twirling....

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And...  mirrorball-suit-hoop-rolling.

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There were two super-strong and agile women in the group too.

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While I taking tons of photos I was also resolving with all my heart to spend a lot more time planking. Every day. I missed the shot but one of men did a perfect 'human flagpole', which is being suspended by the hands, with body perfectly horizontal from the pole. (Not what they're doing in the photo below, though that's very cool too). The flagpole takes an insane amount of strength and I would love to be able to do that! I may have to work out more than once a week though.

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Below, that's a full beer keg and he did a whole routine with it. Now that's functional strength!

That's a full keg

Monday, March 21, 2016

Summer of crochet

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I've done a lot of exploring crochet in the past couple of months. Nothing very complex - I'm not up to lace doileys yet - but I did go in a few different directions.

Crocheted toppers for hanging handtowels:

Surprisingly, a standard face washer turns out to be just the right size.

Crochet edging for pillowcases:

Emma's pillowslips

Demelza's pillowslip detail

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This all started with the variegated yellow and white cotton I found at the Green Shed. It really spoke to me of my sisters, who both had birthdays coming. I had an idea about finding some pillow slips in a nice print and using this for a crochet trim. I mentioned this idea to my mum and she had the great idea that we could make it a collaborative project and she would sew the pillowslips instead. We do love a collaboration! I bought a couple of contrasting prints in nice cotton, she found a few more in her stash and then made up four coordinating, but all different, pillow slips.
Demelza's pillowslip detail

And she did them with these handy contrasting flaps for the trim to be crocheted onto - I just like this placement a bit better than crochet on the very edge of the pillowslip. I used a few different people's instructions and examples to work out how I wanted to do this (see the links in the Ravelry project page).

Emma's pillowslips

Emma's pillowslips

I did consider using pink for two of them, but decided the yarn was too thick.

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Then there were some more washcloths and dishcloths for my sister's birthday package (including a couple of knitted ones with crochet edging - can't find the pics of those!):

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Sunburst Granny Heart - pattern by Bunny Mummy

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Pretty Petals Dishcloth by Julee Fort.

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And finally these little pods with crocheted collars, which made an appearance as part of my stall at the Canberra Suitcase Rummage last weekend, as part of the Art Not Apart festival. This was the second time I've participated in the rummage with friends. It's a really pleasant and easy way to get into market selling - low fee, casual format and a really nice location to spend a day. We sold about enough to make it worthwhile (in a hobby sense, not a really viable business) and had various friends and family visiting through the afternoon as we sat beside the lake on a beautiful sunny day.

The blue 'collar' below was actually dyed - when I first did it in white it looked far too twee, like a lacy Peter Pan collar. As I was also in the middle of a dyeing adventure (that'll be another post) it was easy to sit it upside down in a shallow tray of blue and grey dye for a while and fix that problem. So happy with how it turned out.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Womadelaide 2015 - the final flashback

scarves Vic Simms and the Painted Ladies
Vic Simms and the Painted Ladies.
This is the kind of interesting act that keeps me coming back to this festival. Vic Simms recorded the first black protest album in Australia, The Loner. It was 1973 and he was serving a 7-year sentence in Bathurst Gaol at the time. Simms was permitted to record his album because it was to be part of a PR exercise and he was subsequently sent on tours of prisons and shopping malls. (More about the album here). He had previously been discovered by Col Joye as an 11 year old singer, and released a single at 15.

The album and Vic's career sort of disappeared after that - maybe in part because he refused to continue be used as a kind of tame black prisoner for positive press.

A couple of years ago the album was remastered and reissued. And a musician called Luke Peacock became interested in re-recording the songs, getting in touch with Vic and involving him in the project.

Now, revisiting this story has reminded me that I ought to get hold of the original for myself, and maybe have a listen to the remake too.

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Brazilian Flavia Coelho, not totally my thing musically but fun to be there/listen/watch/shoot.
Flavia Coelho
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
Folk music and dance from Southern Italy - these people have been doing their thing a long time and they really know how to put on a show. Very enjoyable.
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino bandCanzoniere Grecanico Salentino
Che Sudaka punks
Che Sudaka
From Spain - got together in 2002 as illegal immigrants from Argentina and Colombia. Super high-energy 'Mestizo' punks.

Che Sudaka

I was so excited about Buffy Sainte-Marie. Native American singer, star, activist and all round icon. She was awesome.

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And lastly, Sinead O'Connor. I loved her set, her voice was fantastic, and I was inspired to buy the album - though musically its a bit middle of the road, I really like her songs. They are really full of pain and trauma though, and it's even more of a sad listen lately, given her recent mental health troubles. Great to see she's been out and about recently, with a moving if rough Bowie tribute performance.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees

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It's only a few days until we'll be at Womadelaide again!

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So here are my photos from when we saw First Aid Kit from Sweden, at Womadelaide in March last year.

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Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg were charming, talented and a lot of fun. And between them they had a lot of hair going on.

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Especially Johanna

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