Creativity: The Party Props in Action

My recent Creativity posts have been all about making props for my 60th birthday party – Punk’s Not Dead. Today I’m making a gallery of some photos from the party, featuring those pieces. It’s not every day (or year) that I have a sufficient excuse to hire a band and the local Hall, so I thought I may as well make an event – an art project – of it.

Guests were invited to dress up in Punk Rock Style, and most of them did, with a broad range of interpretations. To me, Punk (Rock) represents freedom of expression, a DIY aesthetic and a can-do approach, so I was little bit surprised at how many of my guests associate “punk” with obnoxiousness – there was a lot of face-pulling going on! There was even concern expressed about the possibility of violent behaviour, despite the fact that my friends are very mild mannered, middle  class types who would never dream of such a thing. Thinking about this afterwards, I realised they were reflecting the biases of the Murdoch Press reporting on the Sex Pistols et al way back when…sad!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dance

I’m baaack – this weeks challenge topic is Dance – however we want to interpret it. I have been distracted for the past couple of weeks with the lead-up and aftermath of my 60th birthday party – which had a punk rock dress-up theme, and featured  Ararat’s 90’s punk and alternative cover band, Kerplunk. They were awesome, and although many adults were too shy/overawed to get up and dance, the kids were right into it.

My grand daughter Juniper makes a very good punk grrrl – all toddlers a little bit punk rock from time to time! Madeline wore a fairy dress, but we converted her by the end of the night. The cake is one of the two Zoe baked for the occasion – this one was rose flavoured, and she had the idea for the frosting at the last minute. It worked spectacularly well, my two favourite colours dancing together, and forming roses all over the top of the cake. Matt and Zoe did a brilliant job of vegan catering for the night.

Meanwhile, in the garden, we were blessed with some actual rain last week, which has woken up autumn flowering plants, and set them dancing! And for the record, here’s a pic of me and others) on the big night, in front of the photo background I painted for the party. It was well used on the night, and definitely added to the atmosphere. Matt Harris, Juniper’s dad took all these photos, as I was a bit busy…IMG_7674 (Large)

Creativity: Playing with Paint(.NET)

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As you may know by now, I am celebrating turning (gasp) 60 by having a punk-themed party. I am also a Nirvana fan, and a feminist…I decided a detail of a collage would add something to the party decor, but the slightly blurry photo wasn’t all that exciting. So I decided to jazz it up a bit, using paint.NET.

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After fiddling with brightness, contrast and saturation, I played around with curves until I had a look I liked (making the discoloured old newspaper clippings pink and orange). But that still seemed a bit dull, and I felt the dark spaces needed…something.

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Writing using the mouse is a challenge – so I did that. I was surprised how neatly I managed to write the name of my “event”. I filled some more empty space with my “peace love empathy” bleeding rainbow heart symbol, and wrote in the words. Filling in the colours of the rainbow took a lot of effort, and frequent use of “control Z” to fix mistakes…because the original background is unevenly coloured, it was not a simple matter of filling the space between the lines, and the lighter section (the newspaper clipping) read as the same as the heart outline – resulting in the whole thing being coloured in….several times before I gave up and left that corner “as is”. Finally, in case anyone missed it, I underlined the more pertinent parts of the quote about women. I made the collage from bits and pieces that had been stuck on a wall in my studio a long time ago – 18 or 19 years – so unfortunately I have no idea who it was that said/wrote either of the quotes.

Creativity: Party Prop

I’m having a major birthday in a couple of months, which is a major excuse to organise a party (otherwise someone might spring a surprise party on me…) So, my party, my rules. Having discovered that there is a local band called “Kerplunk”performing “90’s alternative and punk” covers, they were booked and “Punk’s Not Dead” became my theme. Looking for ideas on Pinterest, I noticed that painted photo backgrounds are a thing, and decided that would be a fun thing to do.

I bought a huge photo print on canvas for $25 (half price). It didn’t fit in our small car until some (ahem) adjustments were made, requiring some repairs later…I had a few practice goes on it with spray paint, but I knew I wanted multiple layers, and the look of a much graffitied  wall. IMG_6917 (Large)

I had the good fortune to come across this book – inspiration sorted! IMG_6990 (Large)

A lot of band stickers featured on CBGB walls, and I don’t have many around, so I’ve improvised with what I’ve got. I found they don’t stick very well on the canvas substrate, whether because of the finish or movement, I don’t know. I resorted to gluing them.IMG_6993 (Large)

I’ve painted over some of the old writing (emptying the brush from painting walls), and done a bit more spray painting, including using a stencil (from Typo).IMG_6991 (Large)

Today I hunted out some permanent markers from my supply stash, and added a few more pieces, including my “peace love empathy’ heart design, which I’ve been doing for around twenty years. I’m missing yellow and violet from the rainbow, so I’ll have to remedy that!

“Anarchy Rules” had to be in there (funny!) and “Party” in bubble writing is on message for the occasion. What it really needs is a variety of “hands” – different people writing in their own style. Also more variety in the markers used.  I’m going to be working on that – visitors be warned!

Friday Poem: Running Wild/Climbing

I had nothing in mind for this week’s poem post – it’s been busy around here, what with the Festival King and his various duties – but the Daily Post prompt caught my eye with the mention of American poet, Mary Oliver. I only discovered her work recently, when three separate references to her seemed like the Universe making a suggestion.evening light

So, I read the prompt, and thought…what poem have I written that would answer, opened a notebook, and there it was, a poem about finding my place in the world. Serendipitous synchronicity!

I’ve waited so long to make this journey:
Holding back, stayed by the family circle,
Not ready to leave the safe familiar;
But now I am impelled to climb and climb.

It’s a long way up, and steep and slippery,
But I will make it if I just keep on.
The path is marked with pointers showing me the way,
That give me comfort and confirm my choice.
If I grow weary and stumble and lose my way,
My guide just waits to lead me on again.

My reason says it’s crazy to go climbing,
But my heart knows it is true and it must be.
My spirit grows and opens up within me,
And when I reach the top, I will be free.poster wall 2

One of the pointers on my path away from being the Good Girl was reading Women Who Run With The Wolves, amongst other dangerously freeing and eye-opening books. So off I went spiritually, on a big adventure, in search of my own kind, which led at last to writing a blog…

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I’m turning 60(!) in a few months, and the “Punk’s not dead” poster is for my party.