My Vintage Postcard Collection #1

Wednesday August 3rd, 2011, 3 years, 4 months and 2 weeks ago

I have a big collection of Victorian & Edwardian postcards, mainly collected in the ’80s when they were cheap & plentiful. They’re so pretty! I keep them in vintage postcard albums & nice boxes & take them out of the cupboard every so often to play with. Many of them are from this fabulous secondhand book shop called Edmonds (now sadly closed) where we’d spend wintery Sunday afternoons rummaging & foraging & coaxing out treasures. It was dark & cluttered & smelled like dust & musty old paper & gas from the fire & tobacco. I loved that place…

Karena

What Have I Been Doing?

Monday August 1st, 2011, 3 years, 4 months and 3 weeks ago

What have I been doing lately? Do you want to know? Cast your eyes leftwards…here’s a sneak peek at one of the pieces from my new jewellery range which will be in my new online shop early September (I hope it will be early September, if everything runs smoothly). I’ve been making jewellery for a year now – sourcing nice supplies, perfecting techniques, working on my designs & illustrations, playing around with product photography – it’s been a long time in development & it’s gotten to the point where I’m bursting to show people what I’ve been doing!

I am so looking forward to the day when I fling open the doors to the brand new Magic Jelly Emporium, full of shiny trinkets, new artwork, gocco prints, etc (I’m imaging a stampede of eager shoppers buying everything in sight, but that may be a tad optimistic). Oh dear, I have a lot to do between now & September haven’t I? Why am I hanging around here blogging?!

I’ll leave you with some eye candy (or eye cake – but that sounds like a nasty condition requiring a dose of eye drops), here’s a vegan carrot cake with vanilla cream frosting I made on the weekend.

Karena

Imitation isn’t So Flattering

Sunday July 31st, 2011, 3 years, 4 months and 3 weeks ago

Left: My original illustration, 2005. Right: My illustration stolen by the Shanghai Art Museum, 2007.

I really don’t want to take up blog space dwelling on negatives, but I think it’s worthwhile to open up a discussion about copyright infringement. Being on the receiving end can cause a lot of grief, exasperation & heartache. For instance, the image above… To the left we have an original illustration that I made way back in 2005. To the right, we have an extremely bizarre & badly put together poster design, featuring my illustration, advertising a 2007 exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum. I was not asked for permission or offered a fee – in fact, I would not have licensed this particular image because it’s my logo, but I was denied the right to refuse. What makes it even more difficult to accept is that the person who stole my artwork is presumably an artist or designer themselves, & should know better; if not from a legal standpoint, from an ethical one. And this is just one example of the many, many times that my work has been used without my permission.

Grrr… Anyway, deep breaths

What confounds me is when I’ve talked to other independent creative-type people about copyright infringement, quite a lot of them seem to have either a blasé or fatalistic attitude about it. What are your thoughts on copyright & protecting your work? Have you had any of your work stolen before? I’m really interested to hear about other people’s experiences.

Please continue reading…

Karena
Posted in Soapbox

Billie and Amy

Monday July 25th, 2011, 3 years, 5 months and 5 hours ago

Please continue reading…

Karena
Posted in Videos

Memory Lane: It’s Cracker Night!

Sunday July 24th, 2011, 3 years, 5 months and 2 days ago

After Christmas & birthdays, there was nothing so exciting to my younger self as Cracker Night, when the suburbs were aglow with catherine wheels, sparklers, roman candles & bonfires. Cracker Night was held in late-autumn here in Australia (a lingering tradition of the Empire Day holiday of May 24th that were phased out in the 1960s), & it was commonplace to set off fireworks on the abandoned circle of sand in your backyard that, come summer, lay beneath your 3-foot swimming pool.

We also observed Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. I recall an exciting evening at my primary school, where they assembled (what seemed to me) a gigantic bonfire on the school oval & burnt a floppy effigy made of newspaper-stuffed pantihose. I had no idea what the Gunpowder Plot was all about, but it was all very thrilling nevertheless!

Sadly, Cracker Night came to an end in the mid-70s, but I still have fond memories of the excitement of backyard fireworks. To celebrate the exuberant packaging design & advertising of the fireworks of my early childhood, I thought I’d dedicate a series of blog posts to them. This first one is devoted to the beautiful patterns & colours of fireworks labels, & coming up will be a post packed full of fireworks typography, & another about posters & advertising.

I think fireworks packaging & branding was absolute genius – so evocative & exciting – I’m sure you’ll agree these patterns are gorgeous. I love that so much attention to detail was lavished on something that would eventually be set alight & explode! But what an explosion…raining stars, fizzy, sparkly, noisy & glorious.

Please continue reading…

Karena

My Favourite Circus Fonts: Round #2

Thursday July 21st, 2011, 3 years, 5 months and 4 days ago

A long time ago I posted a list of some of my favourite typefaces of the circus/carnival/sideshow/wild west persuasion (which you can take a look at here). Since there are so many fabulous fonts to choose from, I thought I’d post some more for your typographic pleasure! The fonts marked with an asterisk in the list below are for personal use only, but the rest are free to use in commercial projects; but just to be sure, please read each individual designer’s licensing agreement. (By the way, the pointy hands are actually part of the Joe Clement font – the left & right angle brackets).

I shall be posting a list of some of my favourite vintage & script fonts soon too.

I hope you have fun using these in some of your projects!  :)

And here are a couple more beauties…

  • Tightrope (Lost Type Co-op)
  • Nelma (Lost Type Co-op – .eps & .ai format only, but a beautiful display typeface)
Karena

I Love…Shuzo Ikeda

Wednesday July 20th, 2011, 3 years, 5 months and 5 days ago

Shuzo Ikeda 1922-2004 Japanese Printmaker

Left: Rose, 1977. Centre: Girl & Snow, 1973. Right: Camelia, 1975. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Left: Under the Tree, 1972. Right: Red Seed, 1972. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Left: Bird & Boy, 1974. Centre: Ring Dancing, 1966. Right: Portrait No. 501, 1962. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Flag Procession, 1987. Woodblock Print by Shuzo Ikeda.

Karena
Posted in Art, I Love..., Inspiration

Memory Lane: In the Toy Box

Sunday July 17th, 2011, 3 years, 5 months and 1 week ago

1. Finest Water Colours, Crab Apple Design on Flickr
2. Tin Teacups, SushiPotParts on Etsy
3. Cra-O-Tec Crayons, PeddlersFinds on Etsy
4. Tin Seaside Pail, BennyInkWell on Flickr
5. Milky Marbles, MissUFO on Etsy
6. Wooden Circus Seal, Amber E on Flickr
7. Tin Owl Clicker, BennyInkWell on Flickr
8. Nesting Block Set, AppelJar on Etsy
9. Wonderland Super Paint Box, PopKulture on Flickr
10. Milton Bradley Memory Game, O Pistachio on Flickr
11. Playhour Annual 1967, Gale47 on Flickr

Karena
Posted in Memory Lane