Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is essential is invisible to the eye

We’re all busy focusing on non-OWL stuff right now so, as you can see, things are slowing down around here for the moment.

Now quick, look at these pictures before I make a terrible slowing down/speed bump segue:

Snake eating an elephant.. and slowing down

It’s either a hat or a very full snake, depending on your sensibilities. This one’s definitely a hat:

Slow down, pirate

Both were found on the streets of North Fitzroy, where the hipsters look greasy at you if you hold a table at Sugardough too long. Sorry.

See you ’round!

:: Kate ::

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“Walk Party”

Am listening” to RRR and contrarily typing… according to the music, I should be walking. This directive comes from Spod, a maker of music and the guy behind a simple but curious idea… a fitness program of sorts, composed of nine twenty-minute original ‘fantasy/exercise podcast/mixes’, to be released weekly. This premiere mix is by Spod himself; guest artists will be producing their own inspirational (?) mixes for coming weeks. Apparently Spod adheres to the ‘twenty minutes, just three times a week’ theory that I recognise from late-night television.

I’m not sure I want to listen to Spod’s music thrice; parts of it are cool and there are some very amusing voice samples; there goes a helpful pointer to the halfway mark, there goes an ‘electronic motivation segment’ … hmm, it’s getting a wee bit annoying but it still beats the flimsy 90’s pop tracks that my Sunday morning New Body instructor insists upon, punctuated by her occasional tiny, “whoo”.

Anyway, taking or leaving Spod, I am feeling very grateful to RRR at the moment for keeping me entertained through long hours of work and will put my money where my mouth is during their sponsorship drive, which I think starts next week.

:: Lee ::

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That most useful and most shamefully forgotten object, the handkerchief

Sally Scott handkerchief

The fine art of gift-giving:  to find something that the giftee will love, but would never have bought for themselves. The delightful and talented Manabu (an aforementioned friend of O.W.L.) is an incredibly generous and considerate gift-giver. Last weekend he arrived from Japan with a bagful of gifts, including one for yours truly – the gorgeous embroidered Sally Scott handkerchief pictured above.

Being rather fond of disposable paper products for my nasal hygiene, I would never have dreamt of buying myself a handkerchief, but this beautiful example has forced me  to re-consider other, non-nasal, hanky uses. The Handkerchief Society has a helpful list of occasions where one might have need for such a thing, including (among others): fainting, tying one’s belongings to a stick before running away from home as a child, surrendering, opening a door while working as a private detective, and rendering someone unconscious with ether. Handy!

:: Kate ::

{ Previously on O.W.L. : Sally Scott and Manabu }

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A curious sight

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I often see hot air balloons in the morning, but these were particularly lovely, spaced as they were. Photo taken at about 6.45am, looking south-east from Fitzroy.

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And then when I walked to the tram stop, I spotted another. Taken looking west on Nicholson Street, towards Brunswick, at about 8am.

:: Arwen ::

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Blog to blog

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Does anyone else look at The Sartorialist? I wonder if it is something that you get hooked on periodically but only periodically. I am currently hooked, anyway.

Before I looked it up (recently), I really thought the Sartorialist was an old-time print publication and, curious though I was, I imagined that it would only be accessible to me by way of very large freight costs. As it happens, it’s just a blog – Scott Schuman’s picture blog; according to Wikipedia, it’s only been around a little while and I can’t find a reference to anything by the same name that pre-dates it. It is photograph after photograph of stylish person after stylish person but it’s not all the one kind of style in the way that many ‘street-fashion’ serials are. I find it inspiring – not because I covet a lot of the clothes but because it hints at joie-de-vivre, I think.

Unfortunately, my flats-wearing heroine above is a good two to three inches shorter than most of the women on the site (although that does make me want to act further on a recent Heels Experiment, which wasn’t altogether unsuccessful). More unfortunately, Mr. Schuman is not anti-fur. And while I’m on cons, the inanity of the comments is mind-boggling but… it appears I’m hooked on those too – I simply can’t look at an image without wanting to read that 23 people in a row thought OMG those shoes are Amazing.

Back to pro’s – another nice thing is that The Sartorialist doesn’t just feature lovely-looking ladies – there are lots of progressive dudes and natty older men photographed too.

:: Lee ::

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Rosebud, me hearties

More finds from various op shops in Rosebud over the weekend – above, sparrow salt and pepper shakers; below, melamine cups and an original Decor water jug. Hot damn, Rosebud is a treasure trove of great op shops. And the op shops are treasure troves of great stuff. In truth, there is much treasure to be found – but there is no map. I feel I should put in some kind of piratey interjection here, what with all this mention of treasure, but I’m not channelling Captain Jack Sparrow very well this evening.

Brotherhood of St Lawrence
Shop 1a, Rosebud Central
Nepean Highway
Ph: (03) 5981 1201

or

Vision Op Shop
2279 Nepean Highway
Phone: (03) 5985-2289

are two of the many.

:: Arwen ::

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good price, here you get

There has been a trend for a while now in cafes, restaurants, apartments around Melbourne (and I imagine, many other cities in the world) towards a certain kind vintage-sign nostalgia. Old Coca-Cola advertisements, hand-painted signs advertising long-forgotten cleaning products, metallic menu boards. Hand painted is the key factor here. I must admit that I am a bit of a victim of this myself – my new apartment boasts a large painted metal “4” which I “borrowed” from the local service station back when I was 17.

You can only imagine my excitement last month trekking through the Himalayas and discovering a plethora of absolutely beautiful, old, hand-painted signs scattered through the mountain villages of Nepal. 

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There were clear thematic similarities here – brightly coloured metal, high contrast, large lettering. Punctuation, spelling and grammar corrections added at later dates. Occasional animals and mountain references. And of course, lovely, unique, hand-drawn typography. Each one by a different artist (or artist), each with its own creative flourishes.

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Of course, any nostalgia imbued in the signage here is entirely mine. These signs are not nostalgic, or ironic, they are intensely practical. This is essential international communication, this is art and commerce together at work.

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Lacking the ability to take any of these beautiful signs home, I decided photographs would have to do, and began obsessively photographing every one that I saw – I have posted here a small collection that I hope is representative. One day soon a few of my favourites will be printed life size and will take pride of place beside my old service-station “4”.

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:: Reuben ::

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