15 August 2010

Favourite Things - Weeks Six & Seven

The Favourite Things Project at Being Tazim for week six was 'Modes of Transport'.

How easy was this one. Gotta be 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'. I travel a bit for work, across the city, interstate and intrastate, so I use all these forms of transport. And I love them all.

Other people who use Sydney's City Rail are probably saying, are you crazy!! Probably, but in the 5 years I've been travelling across our beautiful city, I haven't had that many issues with delays. I'm also very lucky to travel across one of the renowned Sydney icons, the Harbour Bridge. Which also means I get to see the harbour and the Sydney Opera House everyday I travel on the trains.

This doesn't look like it was a particularly sunny day on the bridge. This is the approach heading towards North Sydney where my office is. Of course I'm not always there. I'm either somewhere else in the city or state, depends on my schedule.

One view of the historic Central Station. Looks fantastic at night with all the lights shining on the facade.

This is a bit hard to see, but it's inside the old part of the station. We still have steam trains arriving and departing from here. Great fun!

Our new Millennium trains, which didn't quite make it for the Millennium. I think it was another year before they were on the tracks. Below, inside the Millennium train. Rush HourTokyo Rush Hour

The Nazomi, below, we travelled on from Kyoto to Tokyo in about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. While we were waiting for our train, I timed a Nazomi as it left. 15 seconds and the whole 8 carriages were past the end of the platform. Very fast. We got up to 285 kms p/h at one stage.

Me and my new car last year, on the day I picked it up from the dealer. It took me 8 long years to get there, and 4 of those years dreaming of this little beauty. I love driving it whenever I can, so I often take it on trips for work that are up to 4 hours from home. Any further than that and I'll fly.

Below is Kyoto's main railway station. It's like a little city itself. A couple of lovely locals helped us find our way around. A great community service. So polite and they speak excellent English. We did try the tiny bit of Japanese we knew. They seemed to understand. Planes. On them regularly for work and play. In a week I'm heading off to Brisbane for a few days with my eldest son, then on to Mt Isa to visit my youngest. The flight to Mt Isa isn't bad. Better than the quick trips between Sydney/Melbourne or Sydney/Brisbane. With those it takes just as long to taxi in and out on the runway as it does to fly between the cities. Well that's what it feels like.

This is Kansai Airport. Apparently the terminal is about 1 kilometer long. When we got off the plane, we hopped on a monorail that took us from the gate to the actual terminal.

My dream is it do the train ride in the Rocky Mountains one day. I've seen so many pictures of the trains with the glass roofs for viewing the wonderful scenery. Straight after that, I'd like to board a plane to Europe and travel on their fast trains, especially the one under the English Channel.

Week seven's topic is 'Ways to Relax'. A little while ago I wrote about my latest Japan fix. Essentially, it was all about the Japanese themed fiction I've been reading of late. You can read my post about them here.

So...my way to relax, most of the time, is reading. Of late though, I have returned to a lot of non-fiction reading. It's not like me to read more than one book at a time, but these two have got me entralled. The first book is a narrative from Diana Vreeland (1903 - 1989), fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue back in the good old glamour days. A very forthright lady, great reading. Recommended by a young design student I met in Brisbane.

The other one is feeding my addiction to the series 'Mad Men'. It's 'Mad Men Unbuttoned - A romp through 1960's America' by Natasha Vargas-Cooper.

Happy reading!

14 August 2010

Project: Ginkgo

The power went out today for quite a while, TWICE!!

So while I still had some battery power left on my laptop, I thought I'd play with some ideas on Illustrator. I couldn't do much without power. Not even the ironing!!! (Joke!)

I'm still a true novice when it comes to using Illustrator, eventhough I've been trying to develop my skills over the last 3 years. I just don't get enough time to do tutorials etc and I've never had any classes on it. Maybe one day. Everything I can do, I taught myself, so that's not bad.

These designs are part of getting ready to do some 'prototypes' while I'm on annual leave. The plan is to try a few prints, fabrics, and colourways, make a few things such as teatowels or cushions. At the moment I'm just dabbling.

I don't have a set up to do anything bigger. A few other designs are still work in progress. I have a cute little geisha, some birds - which I'm thinking will be on a printed branch but the birds will be silhouettes of Amy Butler fabric.

My favourite design at the moment is a Paris inspired theme. I'm planning on making myself a bag with this print, when I get to it.

Here are some more Ginkgo ideas.

Other ideas floating around in my head (usually in the middle of the night) - Antique wire dressforms (mannequins), gumnuts, fennel and splash.

Let me know what you think.

{These designs are by designed to a T, so please don't use them, unless you let me know.}

08 August 2010

Getting my Japan 'fix', again

I very rarely go through a month of the year without either referring back to my trip to Japan in 2008, reading something about Japan - whether it be fiction or non-fiction - or, in the creative realm, searching for anything Japanese anywhere. Usually it's searching the internet for Japanese fabrics.

My reading list of late has been fictional stories set in Japan.

At the moment, The Tale of Murasaki, written by Liza Dalby, is my choice of travel companion. Most days I travel to work on Sydney Rail, so it's necessary for me to have something to read. As a consequence I have a huge book collection.

Liza Dalby was the technical assistant in relation to Geisha tradition on the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, which I've also read when first released. She was also the only woman of Euopean background to have entered the Geisha world. She lived and trained as a Geisha in the 70's.

The Tale of Murasaki is about a Japanese courtesan who wrote a story about The Shining Prince, Genji. Ironically in the story, the love of Genji's life was also a Murasaki.

The Tale of Genji is the most well-known story in Japanese history and has been depicted in numerous ways in the hundreds of years since it was first written. The New South Wales Art Gallery's exhibition in 2009 'The Shining Prince - Genji', provided a glimpse into the many ways artists have interpreted the story. Books, screens, paintings, woodblock prints, fabric, Manga comics.

This is a book about the Tale of Genji I bought in Japan. An illustrated story with each chapter depicted by a Japanese artist who's genre is paper art/illustrations. Beautiful. I picked it up from a craft centre in Kyoto. 8 stories of craft, kimonos, books, woodblock prints, souvenirs. My sons were very patient with me!!!

Other stories I've read over the last couple of years: 4 books of The Tales of the Otori, The Last Concubine, The Courtesan and the Samurai, The Embers of Heaven.

07 August 2010

Maeve Online Magazine - Issue 2 out soon !

Maeve Online Magazine - Issue 2 - out August 10

05 August 2010

Favourite Things Project - Week Five

People in my life is the fifth week's topic from Being Tazim.

I've mentioned my two sons quite a few times in my posts and they are the most important people in my life. There are a few other significant friends and family who also mean the world to me, but they are very private people and I respect that. They know who they are and know how much I love them.

My sons, Brendon and Darren have made me very proud to be their Mum. Brendon is currently writing a short film in the hope to have it completed for a short film festival some time next year. Darren has just completed an apprenticeship with top marks and has received numerous pats on the back for a job well done.

Both the boys live in Queensland, Australia. Brendon is in Brisbane and Darren is at a mining town, Mt Isa, in the mid western area of Queensland, almost to the border of the Northern Territory.

I'm in Sydney, so having dinner with Mum on a regular basis is just not on!!! We see each other when we can. Darren turns 25 today and the plan is to head out to Mt Isa for a few days soon to visit him (and the new girlfriend!).

For years I have admired many women in business, the art community, media, theatre/screen and literature, and even though they aren't 'people in my immediate life', they are people who have made me think about my life to some extent. For example, I heard Ita Buttrose speak at a seminar years ago about Women in Business and was completely enthralled with what she had to say. At the time I was trying to be a business women and realised I didn't have it in me just yet. This was a good thing, now I am more mature and have had a great deal of exposure to small business through my job.

Because of this, I now have a 5 year plan in place.

There is another identity I admire, someone who was kind hearted, had strong convictions and endured much throughout her life and that is Audrey Hepburn.

As a UNICEF ambassador she devoted much of her post movie life to her role as a spokesperson for UNICEF, helping impoverished children worldwide and raising the profile of UNICEF in the process.

My boys have given me gifts of 2 books encompassing different times of her life.

The Paramount Years and Audrey Hepburn Treasures. The last one is such a beautiful book, with copies of letters, tickets, cast lists etc etc. As it suggests, it is full of treasures. This is a wonderful tribute to Audrey from her son Sean Hepburn-Ferrer, with all or most of the treasures being things he has kept over the years and a heartfelt preface to the book written by him.

She was Givenchy's muse. This beautiful dress was from the Movie 'Sabrina' (1954) with Humphrey Bogart.

Who cannot go past Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' (1961) with George Peppard.

The last movie I saw her in was Robin and Marion (a telemovie I think) released in 1976. Sadly she passed away from colon cancer in January 1993.
Sadly missed.

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