Spoonful
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  • January19th

    Recently married and illustrator extraordinaire! We came across Lauren through a friend of a friend and had the pleasure of seeing her works showcased at the 2014 Sydney Finders Keepers market.

    S:  Can you tell us what led you to become an illustrator?

    L: I’ve always had a love of children’s books and illustration. I have vivid memories of spending hours pouring over my picture books as a child, that continued into my adult like so I guess it like a natural thing for me to do. I studied Design & Illustration at Enmore Design Centre to get my skills up and to have the amazing opportunity to learn more about the world of illustration.

    S: What is the best project you have worked on?

    L: Oh man! So many great projects, I think every picture book I’ve worked on has been an incredible experience. I think the best projects are the ones that challenge me in what I think I’m capable of and force me to grow. I’ve got 2 picture books coming out in the next 6 months which were amazing projects to work on.

    S: Draw the contents of your bag.

    S: What 5 words best describe your art?

    L: Whimsical, natural, innocent, simple and organic.

    S: Who would you swap lives with for a day?

    L: I’d love to be Karen O for a day.  She wears incredible costumes and is a total rock-star! Complete opposite to me.

    S: Your most watched movie is?

    L: I have a couple: “Death at a Funeral” and “Little Miss Sunshine” make me laugh every time.  I also love the art direction of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Away We Go”.

    S: Draw your most memorable birthday cake.

    L: My 4th birthday cake was a space ship at my fairy dress up party!

     

    
    
    
    
    
    Lauren Merrick Illustration / SHOP

    After graduating from Enmore Design Centre, Lauren has taken her passion of illustration and transformed it into beautiful art prints, greetings cards, custom family portraits and illustration works for children’s books. Designer of logos and whimsical creatures, her watercolour images will leave you wishing for more beauty in your life and home. Which is why…

    We want to give one lucky Spoonful reader a copy of Lauren’s “Mountains” art print to colour up your walls with. To enter, simply head over to Lauren Merrick Illustration and comment to tell us which of Lauren’s works is your favourite and why.

    The winner will be announced 2 weeks from today – GOODLUCK!

    S x 

    All images featured within the Visual Poetry with Lauren Merrick article were 
    designed and supplied to us by Lauren Merrick and all images remain her property.
  • October10th

    This song has been stuck in my head for the past two weeks, and I’ll tell you, it’s completely pleasant. “Zorbing” (by Stornoway, a band I’ve only recently become acquainted with) is ridiculously charming and cheerful. It’s a playful little earworm–I think you two will get along just fine.

    FYI: This is what Zorbing is. It’s a real thing!

    ——

    In these interludes, poet and singer-songwriter Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • September16th

    Lovely, intense, moody, and utterly soothing–Balmorhea’s “Pilgrim” is my current creativity stimulant. Sometimes, it does us good to listen to music without words.

    The next time you need some mental stillness, try playing this.

     

    s

    ——
    In these interludes, poet and singer-songwriter Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • August14th

    Somehow, it’s been twenty years (?!) since Portishead’s Dummy was released.

    13-year-old me LOVED this album. I’ll tell you, it holds up really well. I almost spat my coffee out with joy upon reading in Consequence of Sound that Dummy will be reissued in fancy, moody blue vinyl.

    Oooh….

    To celebrate, here are my three favorite songs from Dummy.

    “Sour Times” (Obviously. And how I loved that creepy-cool video!)

     

    “Strangers”

     

    “It’s a Fire”

     

    ——
    In these interludes, poet and singer-songwriter Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • July10th

    The only two competition shows I watch: Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. Both are new this summer, much to my geekish delight.

    My husband and I both adore SYTYCD….we saw this video from Season Two online, and were hooked. Although there are silly reality elements involved, the best parts of the show are watching some fun, beautiful dance and choreography (it’s too hard to choose a favorite–but just look at this one or this one or this one!) I admire how the show makes dance so accessible–as a poet, I can’t help but think that some kind of show featuring poets reading their work would help gain more readers (I might get chased through poetry village with torches for saying that, but I would totally watch America’s Next Top Poet).

    I love how choreographers (who are dancers themselves) use dancers’ bodies and music to make their art. I try to imagine how a dance starts for a choreographer–perhaps they envision a piece of movement, or hear a song that conjures a strong image.

    Sometimes, when I hear a beautiful song, I think, “Ugh, that’s gorgeous, I wish I could see a dance to this.” So here are five songs I’d submit to the suggestion box for choreographers of SYTYCD.

     

    “Blood,” The Middle East
    Oh, this song begs for a gorgeous contemporary routine….

    “Animal Arithmetic,” Jonsi
    Weird and joyous group number, please!

    “It’s Oh So Quiet,” Bjork
    Broadway! It can count as Broadway, right…?

    “Concrete Schoolyard,” Jurassic 5
    C’mon, Nappytabs….I see a playground theme here….

    “Ribs,” Lorde
    There’s a cool jazz routine in here somewhere. And you already know my feelings for Lorde…

    Any other fans out there with a wish list?

     

    ——
    In these interludes, poet and singer-songwriter Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • June15th

    If you knew a female singer in the 90’s, chances are she spent most of the decade singing alone in an apartment. To be a Woman Singing Alone in an Apartment, here is what it takes:

    1. Female artist must also be the main performer in the video

    2. Female artist must “sing” at least some of the words

    3. Female artist must acknowledge the camera

    4. Female artist must be in an apartment of some kind–we must see furniture, decoration, and/or architectural detail to distinguish this place (“Woman Singing Alone in Warehouse” or “Woman Singing Alone in Car” would not count)

    5. Other people may appear in the video, but their screen time must be limited

    6. A love interest may appear in the video, but must not be a focal point

    7. We may see flashbacks or outside of the apartment, but the majority of the video must happen inside the apartment

    8. Female artist must appear appealingly disheveled but still sexy (her look may include messy hair, tank tops, sandals, belly chains, etc.)

    The Cranberries, “Linger” (1993)

    Variation: “Woman Sings Alone in House and Won’t Look at Camera”

    Janet Jackson, Again (1993)


    Lisa Loeb, “Stay (I Missed You)” (1994) 


    Tori Amos, “Pretty Good Year” (1994)

    Variation: “Woman Walks to an Apartment and Then Sings Alone In It”

    Everything But The Girl, Missing (1994)

    Variation: “Woman Sings Alone in Abstract Apartment”

    Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me” (1995)

    Toni Braxton, “I Don’t Want To” (1996)

    Natalie Imbruglia, “Torn” (1997)


    Fiona Apple, “Criminal” (1997)

    Meredith Brooks, “Bitch” (1997)

    Variation: “Two Women Sing Alone in Their Respective Apartments”

    Brandy and Monica, “The Boy Is Mine” (1998)

    Variation: “Woman Sings Alone in Apartment and Then Goes to Club”

    Lauryn Hill, Ex-Factor (1998)

    Who did I miss?

    (Note: This may also be of interest–“Women Laughing Alone With Salad”)

    ——

    In these interludes, poet and singer-songwriter Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • June10th

    Jasmin Dwyer

    Jasmin DwyerJasmin Dwyer

    Jasmin is an Australian born, London based artist who has just landed her dream job, teaching the hearts and minds of children in a highly regarded school.  In her own words, her work is “abstract art and geometric design with a contemporary approach to illustration” and we tend to agree! Following her passion from such a young age, Jasmin has now created her own little empire on the internet selling her prints, ceramics and very soon a new tote bag collection.

    Having purchased a number of prints for my own home I can say that without a doubt her passion for vibrant colours, high quality products and modern imagery are evident in the works being produced.

    Jasmin Dwyer the store launched this weekend and prints are available to purchase here.

  • May27th

    Here in Melbourne, winter is already upon us.  A walk through our city streets is proof enough with café signs announcing today’s soup special, the leaves on most trees turning a bright gold and storefront windows adorned with scarves and winter woollies.  When I think of indulgence in winter I surprisingly think less about food (shocking I know) and more of the creature comforts that we desire like being wrapped up under a fort of blankets, adding extra layers to our clothing and lighting rooms with candles for the ambient glow that just whispers “welcome home”.  This month is all about the indulgence of the season, I’m sure most of you have something that you associate with particulars times of the year, but I wanted to give you a list of my favourite winter essentials to kick start your hibernation.  haven’t you always wanted a snood? Fun to say right?  Snuggle up Spoonful readers; it is going to be a very long winter.

    Winter Warriors

    1. Escape our cold reality and into the world of The Bees.
    2. Need a new favourite pair of boots this season?
    3. Every woman deserves one of these amazing coats (I have it in blue!)
    4. Make your tummy nice and happy too with comforting caramel popcorn.
    5. Snuggle up in bed and listen to your favourite beats or Ebook, aren’t these fabulous?
    6. My drink of the season is chai tea with cinnamon sugar, even better in a mug sprinkled with gold!
    7. The aforementioned snood!
    8. I love every design Happy Socks come up with, perfect for warm toes.
    9. Sarah McNeil has your hands covered this season.
    10. A perfect addition to any blanket haven.
  • May9th

    friendsimage by the amazing Amanda Mabel

    When I first learned about Pandora Radio in 2005 or 2006, I was hooked. Part of this was the name–Pandora had been (I’m somewhat embarrassed to say) part of my first AOL screen name and email a decade earlier, back in The Old-Timey Internet Town of 1995. I think I’d misunderstood the myth somewhat, and had seen Pandora as this empowered woman wielding chaos (“It’s HER box, dang it! She owns chaos and destruction! Now let me get back to watching Welcome to the Dollhouse and making this beaded choker…”).

    But back to Pandora. I’m not sure how I found it, but I thought it was an amazing concept: type in a musical artist that you like, and Pandora (based on The Music Genome Project) will begin to stream artists that it thinks you will like. I’d type in M. Ward, and it would recommend Magnolia Electric Co. or Grandaddy. Type in Bjork, and Pandora would play Frou Frou. This blew my mind. Up until then, I depended on a few different sources for music recommendations: the other artists carried by labels I loved (Helloooooo, Secretly Canadian), blogs and magazines, the occasional lucky radio/soundtrack moments, and most importantly, suggestions from friends and family.

    From 2000-2010, I burned and exchanged hundreds of CDs (and maybe a few cassettes–I do believe I had a walkman in 2003, which seems absurd now). Wherever we moved, my friends and I would mail one another CDs, lovingly scribbled on with Sharpie. Collections from my friend Ryan would skew a little electronic and romantic (Her Space Holiday or Sneaker Pimps or Death Cab for Cutie). My Uncle Jerry sent me a tape with Freedy Johnston and Damien Jurado on it, and I’d listen to it as I walked to class (I sent him either a tape or CD that had Badly Drawn Boy on it).

    In the mid 2000’s (what should we call those? The mid-aughts?), I was part of a CD exchange group. I remember buying blank CDs in stacks of 50 or 100. A group of us would meet every few months, and create a CD around a certain theme (there was “Rites of Passage,” and “Love,” and a Halloween-themed one). We’d make a dozen of them, and leave with a dozen new beloved collections. Nerdily, I’d slave away over mine, my husband cracking up at how painstakingly I’d arrange and rearrange the order of the songs. I continue to be grateful for people who love music (or art, or poetry, or anything) this much.

    Now, I listen to Spotify regularly, as well as Pandora. It’s helpful and entertaining. I’ll continue to use it, and don’t wish to criticize it. Sometimes, I forget whether I’m listening to Spotify or to my own music. Customized radio will play you what you already like. Sometimes, that’s exactly what we want (when we want background music, for instance). But other times, I crave hearing or reading or absorbing new sounds or ideas. And nothing scratches the “discovery” itch for me like a good, personalized recommendation from a friend does.

    When a person tells me about a book I should read or an album I should hear, I take it very seriously. I treasure that recommendation. They aren’t recommending what is similar to my tastes, necessarily (a la Netflix or Youtube)–they are recommending something that they love, that they think I might love. Often, it’s unexpected, and not always what I’d select for myself. There is a bit of a risk here–I want you to try this experience, they are saying. I still remember friends of mine driving over with a CD, walking in, and telling me that I had to listen right then and there (and proceeding to play me “John Wayne Gacy, Jr. ” by Sufjan Stevens). That day, I must have listened to the song twenty times, trying to get at its warbly, sad, balladeer-esque magic. I hadn’t heard anything like it.

    What recommendations have you been grateful for? What have you recently recommended to a friend?

    ——
    In these interludes,  poet and singer-songwriter  Hannah Stephenson invites you to eavesdrop on the music bouncing around her brain. She’d love to hear your thoughts, your inner soundtrack, and what band inspired that shrine in your bedroom.

  • April30th

    Hello wondrous Spoonful readers!

    This year’s Easter contest has had us receive a delicious batch of truly gorgeous contemplative Haikus…

    Uh! I fell in love with so many little moments and word arrangements it was lucky I didn’t have to judge as we’d have had everyone winning!

    I cannot thank each & every one of you enough for joining in the spirit and putting pen to paper. You make our world richer and the world seems a little sparklier knowing you’re around ;)

    The lovely Kelsie has chosen our winner of her beautiful golden egg! She said that she chose this particular gem as it “describes exactly what [her] daughter does every time she checks the chicken coop for new eggs!” The winner is *drumroll* this magical little Haiku by the lovely Justine Wake.

    by Paul Armstrong

    image by Paul Armstrong

    across the dawn grass

    child’s smile, skip and tiny tiptoe
    treasure hideout- found!


    Congratulations Justine & thank you everyone for your beautiful words.

    You have enriched our lives and over the next few days we shall be sharing your gems and poeticisms. They’re just TOO GOOD not to!!!

    thea.
    xx

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