Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Liz's Current Top 10 Playlist Selections

Baby Boomerang - The Shins
Nan You're a Window Shopper - Lily Allen
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Love Is Only A Feeling - The Darkness
Ooh La La - Goldfrapp
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot - Grandaddy
The Sweet Fantastic - Ian Brown
In These Shoes - Kirsty MacColl
Open Your Heart - Ladytron
I Wish I Had An Evil Twin - Magnetic Fields

Monday, April 24, 2006

Creeping Desperation

I am now officially the saddest person ever. Never, ever did I think I would sink so low. This morning, I received an email invitation to join a recipe exchange. A mere two or three years ago I would have deleted this instantly with a dismissive sneer and without a second thought.

TODAY, however, I thought carefully of what my contribution would be. Pumpkin Risotto? Too fussy. Lentils with feta and mash? People don't really LIKE lentils, do they? Finally, I settled on the meal that offered the best value. Only 30 minutes to make, cheap ingredients, healthful, and very tasty. Pasta with Italian Beans and Veggies. I wrote up my recipe and emailed it out, as instructed, to 10 of my friends. Well, actually, that's not true. After a look in my computer's email address book, I discovered that I didn't have 10 friends. I didn't even have 5 friends. This meant I had to resort to including family members, all of whom, I now realize (too late), will get my email, shake their heads and delete it.

I blame New Zealand. Living here for seven years now, it was bound to have an effect. I would challenge others (who may think of themselves as pretty cool and with it) to live in a small village in NZ for as long as I have, and resist the excitement promised by an email recipe exchange.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Notes from the Amanda shoot, Part 2

It was fairly warm and muggy during the shoot, though thankfully, nothing close to the 32C it had been the previous week. Greg suggested that we all have a swim at the dam. I had taken a walk there the day before and noticed turtles swimming around in the dark green water. Greg cheerfully reported that there was a python in residence there, often seen sunning itself on the rocks next the water. I took a pass on the swim.

The following day as we were right in the middle of shooting, Greg's young daughter Edie and her little mate came tearing into the guest house, very alarmed.

"We need Chris! Mummy said to get Chris because there's a HUGE spider!" Chris was Chris Maait, the assistant photographer and amateur wildlife wrangler. Just like Steve Irwin, only without the hysteria or the microshorts.

We stopped shooting and everyone rushed over to the house to see what all the fuss was about. Chris instantly identified the spider in question as a Huntsman spider, and calmly collected it in a bit of plastic. The spider was a mighty beast, as big as a man's hand. We released it the woods, and it seemed to be very annoyed because as we walked away it actually ran after us!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dave's latest 'all-time favourite songs' playlist

Final arrears - Mull Historical Society
Teenage Winter - Saint Etienne
LDN - Lily Allen
The morning of our lives - Jonathan Richman
Another sunny day - Belle and Sebastian
Love see no colour - The Farm
Nothing lasts forever - Echo and the Bunnymen
Terry - Kirsty Maccoll
Small World - Roddy Frame
Side Streets - Saint Etienne

Notes from the Amanda shoot, Part 1

In January, we shot 18 new AMANDA cards at the home of Australian photographer Greg Bartley. To keep the budget as tight as possible, our model Amanda Dow and myself stayed at the guest house which served as the studio. "The compound" as I thought of it, was originally conceived as a spiritual retreat by the Reverend who owned the land. It consisted of the main house, guest house, caretaker's house, and a chapel.

The compound is situated on several acres of bushland near Dural, New South Wales. As the only non-Australian in the group, I found that I was particularly aware of the various insect (and arachnid) life that surrounded us. My nightly ritual was hunting and trapping the beetles and cockroaches in my room, and carefully depositing them in a glass of water. Being a city girl, I foolishly imagined that this would kill them. Inevitably, one night as I got up for a wee, I knocked the glass over, sending water and (still very lively) bugs spraying everywhere. It was like a nightmare, and I shrieked like, well...a girl. Apparently, the roaches and beetles had just been paddling around having a lovely summer's night swim.

My tales of insect horror at breakfast were met with blank expressions by my hosts and companions. Nothing less than a crocodile under my bed was going to merit any show of concern.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by StripeyLiz.
Dave in The Pod.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why brilliant card ideas aren't always brilliant

One of my favourite new range ideas came to me in the middle of the night, and excited me so much I got out of bed and started working on it at 4 am. It was for a range which would make us famous and I felt proud yet humble.

It was called " In My World", and would be a surreal exploration of a disturbed mind's revenge fantasies. A daring, original yet thoroughly commercial range of cards which would turn the trade upside down.

I immediately got our favourite illustrator onto it, and before long images of men with baboon's arses, airborne fat people and melting cellphones were flying into my inbox. We did mock-ups of the cards and proudly showed them to everyone we knew.

No-one liked them. And when we sat back to take a closer look at them, neither did we. We quietly put them aside and got on with other things.

" In my World" was never been spoken of again. Until now.