likes, loves and lusts

hello kitty's 35!

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First launched in 1974, Hello Kitty is an unbelievable 35 years old! The iconic white cat with the red bow has become one of the most licensed products in the world since her birth, and she’s not planning on stopping any time soon.

To commemorate the occasion, Sanrio have launched Three Apples – an exhibition and celebration of all things Hello Kitty.

“Hello Kitty has graced everything from coin purses, erasers, and gum, to toasters, couture, and diamond jewelry. She has long been a muse to artists & designers worldwide and has brought smiles to fans 35 years. Now, in honor of her 35th Anniversary celebration, Sanrio is proud to bring an event to the U.S. like nothing America has seen before!”

Alongside the event, designers across the world have been asked to contribute to the already astounding Hello Kitty collection. You can get Sigg waterbottles, Tokidoki wallets, bags and vinyl toys, and Asics sneakers – all adorned with the all-too-familar kitty.

And on the off-chance you’re a fan, there’s a Hello Kitty theme park too.

am i bare?

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Cape Town-based creative outfit Am I Collective have launched a brave and exciting new project – the limited edition Bares. Based on the already-popular model of Kid Robot’s munnies and dunnies, Am I Collective have come up with a cute yet generic-shaped little figure and given it to various artists and graphic designers to interpret as they wish. The result is a 47-strong (and looks aimed for 100) collection of unique 40cm “Bares” to go on auction this week – all proceeds going to child welfare.

Each Bare has his own name, and a description of the artist’s inspiration. See the full collection of Bares, and get your credit card ready for the auction on 24 September.

brush up

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The Brush Project! To raise money for Gigi's Playhouse (a down syndrome awareness center), the Rotofugi gallery in Chicago has started the Brush Project - a charity auction where the merchandise isn't art, but the tools used to make art. Well known underground artists have donated - and signed - their paint brushes for the cause. Artists include surrealists Mark Ryden, Dan May, Tara McPherson and many more.

Some artists have donated one brush, some a collection of brushes. Each has a tag with the artist's signature, a description of what the brush was used for and some even have an added personal design on the back of their tags by the donating artist. A collector's dream. Or as the Rotofugi gallery put it, "the best chance you'll probably ever get to own a Mark Ryden original".

save water - in style

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Bas van der Veer's "Drop of Water" allows the earth-conscious among us to continue watering our lovely gardens while saving precious tap water. The large, grey "Drop of Water" collects rainwater in a stylish water jug that you can simply take out and pour where you need. The big bulbous end of the drop stores the overflow of rain water that has been collected, which you can refill your jug with via the little green tap at the bottom. Simple, stylish, green.

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A cat-lover clearly built this programme...

bring on summer!

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It's only spring, but you can feel it in the air - holidays are fast approaching! And I'm ready already dammit - bring it on! I have my new Letarte summer outfit (read: bikini), my new Kate Spade beach bag, and my handbag camera for all those hot holiday snaps. What more could a girl possibly need?

seriously? seriously.

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An ad from the 50s for a new style of coffee... Um. Yeah.


a legend

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video

I saw this for the first time last night, and it's truly amazing. One of the best pieces of video i've seen in a long time - how to tell a story in 30 seconds or less...

skin deep

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a legacy

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On 4 October 1989, one of the Pythons died. Graham Chapman was just 48 years old, and suffering from a rare form of spinal cancer. John Cleese was at his deathbed, and later delivered one of the most amazing eulogies i think has probably ever been delivered. Until the next Python passes.

Below is his speech. It's a long read, but it's a good one, and I can't believe i've never seen this before. They really were a troupe of geniuses.

"Graham Chapman, co-author of the "Parrot Sketch", is no more.

He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky. And I guess that we're all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight, before he'd achieved many of the things of which he was capable, and before he'd had enough fun.

Well, I feel that I should say: nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries.
And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn't, if I threw — threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. Anything for him but mindless good taste. I could hear him whispering in my ear last night as I was writing this:
"All right, Cleese," he was saying, "you're very proud of being the very first person ever to say 'shit' on British television; if this service is really for me, just for starters, I want you to become the first person ever, at a British memorial service, to say 'fuck'".
You see, the trouble is, I can't. If he were here with me now I would probably have the courage, because he always emboldened me. But the truth is, I lack his balls, his splendid defiance. And so I'll have to content myself instead with saying 'Betty Marsden...'

But bolder and less inhibited spirits than me follow today. Jones and Idle, Gilliam and Palin. Heaven knows what the next hour will bring in Graham's name. Trousers dropping, blasphemers on pogo sticks, spectacular displays of high-speed farting, synchronized incest. One of the four is planning to stuff a dead ocelot and a 1922 Remington typewriter up his own arse to the sound of the second movement of Elgar's cello concerto. And that's in the first half.

Because you see, Gray would have wanted it this way. Really. Anything for him but mindless good taste. And that's what I'll always remember about him — apart, of course, from his Olympian extravagance. He was the prince of bad taste. He loved to shock. In fact, Gray, more than anyone I knew, embodied and symbolized all that was most offensive and juvenile in Monty Python. And his delight in shocking people led him on to greater and greater feats. I like to think of him as the pioneering beacon that beat the path along which fainter spirits could follow.

Some memories. I remember writing the undertaker speech with him, and him suggesting the punch line, 'All right, we'll eat her, but if you feel bad about it afterwards, we'll dig a grave and you can throw up into it.' I remember discovering in 1969, when we wrote every day at the flat where Connie Booth and I lived, that he'd recently discovered the game of printing four-letter words on neat little squares of paper, and then quietly placing them at strategic points around our flat, forcing Connie and me into frantic last minute paper chases whenever we were expecting important guests.

I remember him at BBC parties crawling around on all fours, rubbing himself affectionately against the legs of gray-suited executives, and delicately nibbling the more appetizing female calves. Mrs Eric Morecambe remembers that too.
I remember his being invited to speak at the Oxford Union, and entering the chamber dressed as a carrot — a full length orange tapering costume with a large, bright green sprig as a hat — and then, when his turn came to speak, refusing to do so. He just stood there, literally speechless, for twenty minutes, smiling beatifically. The only time in world history that a totally silent man has succeeded in inciting a riot.

I remember Graham receiving a Sun newspaper TV award from Reggie Maudling. Who else! And taking the trophy falling to the ground and crawling all the way back to his table, screaming loudly, as loudly as he could. And if you remember Gray, that was very loud indeed.

It is magnificent, isn't it? You see, the thing about shock... is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.

Well, Gray can't do that for us anymore. He's gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade."

The Pythons are getting together one last time and I'm pretty sure The Urn aka Graham will be there too.

today is...

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...the day Tim Burton's 9 is released - it's 09.09.09...

Also, 09.09.09 is significant around the world in many belief systems.
Some points about 9...

  • It is the product of 3X3 and three is the number of balance in mind, body and spirit. In science, there are nine planets in our solar system.
  • It takes nine months for a human baby to fully develop in the womb.
  • In history, number nine was a sacred number in both Egypt and Greece.
  • In religion, the hierarchy of angels has nine choruses. The Buddhists see the sky divided into nine celestial levels.
  • In Islam there are nine spheres in the universe.

These are from a local Bishop - can you think of any more?

Last year we had 08.08.08, next year we have 10.10.10, then 11.11.11, then 12.12.12, then it ends... just three more left

proteas

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library progress

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A while back we started the quest to build a library - and we're very nearly done! Below is an update on the space we've been filling, and how progress has - very slowly - been going.

the two opposite walls we're filling with shelves, floor to ceiling:




the shelves start arriving in pieces...




and the shelves are assembled and fitted:



Next is the process of book-packing and categorizing and colour-coding... but that's a whole separate blog post.

to be continued...