Cool stuff

How to Tie a Bow Tie

by Elizabeth on March 8, 2013 · 2 comments

in Cool stuff, Fashion, Videos

This video is the second-best thing I saw on the Internet this week.

The best thing has to be the animated gif version of the video, created by Devoureth.  It makes me want to put my boyfriend in his super-hot suit so that I can practice!


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#40 – Complete a jigsaw puzzle

by Elizabeth on February 25, 2013 · 6 comments

in 101 in 1001, Cool stuff, Videos

Jigsaw puzzle on Vimeo.
Music: Puzzle Pieces by Saint Motel


This ridiculous task is part of my mission to complete 101 Things in 1001 Days.

Some of the major regrets in my life:

  • Begging to have my hair permed when I was 12, and succeeding
  • The time I was hit by a bus on my way to a funeral
  • That month-long period in Year 10 when the boy I had a crush on flirted with me like crazy, and I just thought he was being a weirdo
  • Navigating LAX with three small children; and
  • Wasting 3 weeks of my life on this effing jigsaw puzzle.

I think the lowest point during this project was when I grabbed the scissors from the kitchen drawer, intending to re-shape a puzzle piece that I believed with ALL MY HEART should have fit in a particular spot.  There was a lot of Tim Talking Liz Down From the Ledge and Sure, Chocolate Can Be Dinner and Liz? Maybe You Should Go To Bed Now during the course of these 56.5 hours.  Also swearing and crying and flipping the bird at objects that could only be described as inanimate.

But maybe, maybe there were also some good moments.  Like the sort of conversations that only happen when you’re trapped in a room together and the TV is off.  And maybe it wasn’t entirely terrible to listen to Richard Mercer’s Love Song Dedications on the radio, even if my boyfriend made it clear that he will never publicly glorify our love with a Whitney Houston power ballad.

The thing is, we did it and nobody died.  We agreed that Tim wouldn’t touch the puzzle unless I was working on it (in order to satisfy the vague criteria of my list) and whenever we were puzzling, we were filming too.

Thank God we were able to capture all of our poor nutritional decisions on camera.


Walk Off The Earth

by Elizabeth on January 6, 2013 · 3 comments

in Cool stuff, Music, Videos


Almost exactly one year ago I wrote about this incredible Canadian indie band called Walk Off The Earth.  At the time they had just catapulted to fame after their mesmerising cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know and they seemed to be pretty stunned by all the attention.

It was only today that I realised how much other stuff they’ve done since recording that cover.  There is some serious talent in this group of multi-instrumentalists (not to mention the incredible voices), and they’ve made some of the most creative low-budget videos I’ve seen in ages.

So I thought it was time to share more of their videos.  It was hard to narrow it down to just a few, so check out the Walk Off The Earth YouTube channel for heaps more amazing covers.


I don’t think I can write about this band without again posting the video that shot them to fame.  Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye & Kimbra was perhaps the song of 2012 so it’s been covered a lot, but this one blows all the others out of the water.



Tim’s Dad took us to the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour while we were in Vermont.  Aside from eating some of the world’s greatest icecream (fact) we also took a tour of the factory and learned a lot about the history of the company.

I always knew that Ben & Jerry’s icecream tasted incredible, but it wasn’t until I went on this tour that I really understood why it’s so special.  First of all, the company was created with a pretty firm philosophy of social activism, sustainable production supply chains, and giving back to the community.  To this day they have maintained their commitment to source their dairy from pastured Vermont cows as a way of investing in their local industry.  And all of their eggs are from cage-free chickens.  How great is that?

So the B&J icecream that we buy here in Australia really is created in the factory pictured below – not by an Australian manufacturer who’s been granted a license.  And although I don’t feel great about the distance my icecream has travelled (and what that does for my local industry, and the environmental costs of its transportation) I do have a new appreciation for the price we pay for their icecream here.  Ben & Jerry’s offset the environmental impact of shipping their icecream to Australia by investing in renewable energy projects, so that eases the guilt a little.

The thing is, this company is incredibly progressive and they’ve thought long and hard about their role in the world.  They encourage their employees to volunteer in the community and support them financially to do it – and not with token gestures.  They lobby government to improve food standards and on economic issues.  They believe in telling people exactly what’s in the food they’re eating, and producing it ethically and locally.  They operate a foundation that invests in causes that will bring about change for communities.

This is sounding a bit like a sponsored post, sorry.  But it’s hard to not get excited about a corporate venture that’s doing so much good.

We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside the factory in case we were evil spies, but it was really cool to see.  Great care is taken to ensure that no ice crystals form during any part of the manufacturing process which is one of the reasons why you’ll never see a tub of B&J icecream that’s bigger than a pint.  It’s all part of the quality control process.

And, umm…

I forget what else I was going to say, because this post made me hungry.



Last Saturday night was the grand final of the Victorian Roller Derby League, and it was awesome!  It was also my first time as a spectator and we had a seriously good time.

These girls are tough.  We were unlucky enough to be standing next to the only guys in the room who were there to perve, but everybody else was taking the sport pretty seriously and cheering on the players.  The rules are simple to understand and there is just so much skill on display.  It’s totally worth sitting ringside so that you’re part of the action.

I didn’t once see a girl fall down and stay down.  This is not a game for sooks!

The spectators are colourful and friendly, and there were some great market stalls set up nearby as well.  If you ever get the chance to see this sport in person I really recommend it.  And besides, where else will you see Skate Bush, Pony Slaystation, Calamity Maim, Rage Against the Sewing Machine, Alex in Chains, Double D’viant, Killjoy Division and Terror Australis all in one room?


New York City.  Every time you turn a corner there’s something unexpected.

I’m going to let these photos speak for themselves tonight.  We’ve had some sad news over here and these pictures have been a welcome distraction.  But now it’s time for bed, and I hope I’ll dream of these big, beautiful bubbles.


Ink Calendar by Oscar Diaz

by Elizabeth on November 20, 2012 · 0 comments

in Art, Cool stuff


A calendar that marks the passage of time with ink, and the magic of capillary action.

DESIGNER: Oscar Diaz (
DIMENSIONS: 420 X 595 mm
MATERIALS: Paper and ink.


“Ink Calendar” make use the timed pace of the ink spreading on the paper to indicate time.

The ink is absorbed slowly, and the numbers in the calendar are “printed” daily. One a day, they are filled with ink until the end of the month. A calendar self-updated, which enhances the perception of time passing and not only signaling it.

The ink colors are based on a spectrum, which relate to a “color temperature scale”, each month having a color related to our perception of the weather on that month. The colors range from dark blue in December to, three shades of green in spring or oranges, red in the summer.

The scale for measuring the “color temperature” that I have used is a standard called ‘D65’ and corresponds roughly to a midday sun in Western / Northern Europe.

The “Ink Calendar” was developed for “Gradual”, an exhibition featuring works, which were evolving during the exhibition time at the London Design Festival 2007.


Science and design are such a good team.


The Old Man and the Sea – Marcel Schindler

by Elizabeth on November 19, 2012 · 1 comment

in Art, Cool stuff, Videos


This incredible stop-motion film by German artist Marcel Schindler makes me want to draw and draw and draw… and then read a bunch of Hemingway.

Discovered via Leslie at Pink Collar, who actually read the book in Cuba and earned a stack of bonus street cred for doing so!

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LN-CC FILM: Copula | Making Bracelets

by Elizabeth on November 12, 2012 · 0 comments

in Art, Cool stuff, Videos

LN-CC FILM: Copula | Making Bracelets from LN-CC on Vimeo.


Every piece of Copula jewellery is handcrafted by a single artisan working with only the finest materials. In this exclusive video, LN-CC follows the intensive processes and skills that go into creating one of the Aztlan bracelets: a 925 sterling silver interpretation of a traditional friendship bracelet.

Shop Copula | AW12 >


BOO! A Summer Halloween.

by Elizabeth on October 31, 2012 · 1 comment

in Australia, Cool stuff, Life, Melbourne


We had heaps of cute little trick-or-treaters come by the house tonight.  Lots of witches, superheros and animals helping themselves to the cauldron full of chocolate, and plenty of comments about our funny pumpkins.

It was really nice to meet some new neighbours, and get to know our community a little better.

Halloween is so much fun when you’re as immature as us.


Special congratulations to my lovely friends J & G, who welcomed a much prettier Halloween pumpkin into the world today.  Little Georgia Mae, you are already so adored!

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My very first pumpkin! (2008)

Every year somebody in Australia writes a lengthy rant about why their family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, and the many ways that it is destroying the fabric of Australian society.  They usually trot out the same tired trifecta of criticism: childhood obesity, stranger danger, and Americanisation.

It’s my personal belief that your child won’t get fat or kidnapped if you engage in a little active parenting.  They won’t start spontaneously singing The Star Spangled Banner either, since Halloween is a) not American; and b) NOT AMERICAN. 

Halloween is once a year, and I think it’s a great excuse for kids to dress up, spend time with their friends, and actually meet their neighbours.  Not everybody likes it, and that’s okay too!  You won’t be disturbed on 31 October if you leave your porch light off. 

I’m not exactly passionate about Halloween, but I’m not against it either.  It annoys me when people rain on each others’ parades, that’s all.


Moving on.

Lots of people land at my site each October because they’re trying to track down pumpkins in Melbourne.  I decided to call around today, and here’s what I’ve been able to find this year:

  • Some Coles and Safeway/Woolworths stores still have them in stock.  Call first!
  • Georgie’s Harvest at South Melbourne Market
  • Pino’s at Prahran Market – UPDATE: sold out!
  • Queen Victoria Market – UPDATE: sold out!

Failing that, carve a watermelon instead!  You can turn the insides into something delicious for dessert, and since they’re in season they won’t be quite as expensive. 

Oranges make a cute little alternative too, or if you’re feeling brave try a butternut or kent pumpkin (but watch your fingers – they’re tough!).

Finally, if you’re celebrating this year check out my post about the Halloween party we hosted a couple of years ago.  There’s plenty of inspiration there for spooky food (witches fingers and worms!) and decorations.

Most importantly…

… remember to smile!  It’s just a holiday.


New York City Timelapse from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.


In three weeks we’re leaving for an action-packed trip overseas to see Tim’s family.  We’ll only be away for 3 weeks, but in that short time we will be covering a lot of ground.  We’ll be taking Tim’s parents to Disney World (and meeting my brother there too!), watching the Red Sox play at Fenway Park, cooking fresh lobster in Maine and watching as the leaves change colour in a remote part of Vermont.  We’ll be spending time in 7 different states while we’re away!

The thing I’m most excited about is seeing the people that we miss so much.  I’m also really excited about seeing more of the places where Tim spent his childhood.

Last weekend we booked a couple of nights accommodation in NYC.  I’d been worried that we wouldn’t be able to fit it in to this trip, and I’m so glad we found a way to do it!  It’s been six years since I’ve been back in the city and I’m going to treasure every minute we spend there.  I know that we’ll only scrape the surface.

Just when I thought my excitement had peaked, I came across the timelapse above.  How good is that?


It looks like Eddie Peter Hobson is trying to capture lots of different cities via timelapse photography.  He’s even done Melbourne!  My city is so beautiful, especially at night.

Timelapse the World – Melbourne from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.


I have SO MUCH TO DO before we leave.  Send help!


About a month ago Fiona from Little Lioness left a comment about her cool little project: Thirty before 30.

If you’ve been reading my blog for more than two minutes you’ll already know that I’m pretty hooked on lists and goals and all that stuff.  My enthusiasm for goal-setting extends to other peoples’ to-do lists as well.  In the past I’ve had heaps of help to achieve the things on my 101 Things in 1001 Days lists (both my current list, and my previous one) and so I’m always looking for ways to ‘pay it forward’ wherever I can.

Fiona mentioned in her comment that she wouldn’t be able to complete her thirty goals by her 30th birthday, which is coming up this month.  I spotted a task on her list that she could definitely achieve by her birthday if she had an incentive: Have a caffeine free month.

So naturally, I bribed her.


Fiona has an adorable nephew called Liam who has been diagnosed with a rare bone growth disorder called spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia.  His condition doesn’t fall into the usual funding categories, so there is a real need to raise money for research, treatment and support for his quality of life.

The Steve Waugh Foundation has been established to support young people like Liam who suffer from “orphan” diseases.

The Steve Waugh Foundation is committed to a coordinated approach to the service, identification, treatment and cure of rare diseases – primarily focusing on children (0-25 years of age).

We strive to improve the quality of life for children and families affected by rare diseases.

The rare disease patient is the orphan of the health system, often without diagnosis, without treatment, without research and therefore, without reason to hope.

Families and carers of children with rare diseases experience significant psychological stress due to social isolation, unemployment, diagnostic delays, lack of information and difficulty accessing appropriate health care.

The Steve Waugh Foundation is working to help change things for children with a rare disease by giving hope, providing medicine, equipment and treatment, supporting education and research, partnering with other like agencies and organisations as well as supporting specific projects and programs. The Foundation has already supported over 200 families through generous donations from our Patrons, corporate partners and supporters. Over a million dollars has been used for medication, treatment, specialised equipment and financial support.


Fiona has asked for donations to the Steve Waugh Foundation instead of presents for her 30th birthday, and she’s set an ambitious fundraising goal of $1000.  I pledged some money last month in exchange for Fiona’s caffeine habit, and she officially completed the challenge at midnight last night!

Of course, I’d have made my donation whether or not Fiona quit her coffee habit.  But let’s not tell her that.  If you have $5 or $10 to spare, I hope you’ll consider using it to help this excellent cause.  There are lots of people just like Liam who need a little extra help, and I am so happy to have supported Fiona’s fundraising efforts.

Congratulations on a caffeine-free month Fiona!  (I hope she’s not overdoing it today, but if you happen to run into her please scrape her off the ceiling and switch her to decaf ok?)


A big thank you to Kellie from 74 Lime Lane for sharing this short by Cale Atkinson (she always knows where to find the best stuff).  You can read more about the making of this animation at Cale’s blog.

I love everything about this.


(PS. Sorry that things are so quiet around here.  I’ll be back with a more newsy post soon!)

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Kina Grannis – In Your Arms

by Elizabeth on April 7, 2012 · 1 comment

in Cool stuff, Music, Videos

Definitely one to watch in HD!

22 months
1,357 hours
30 people
2 ladders
1 still camera
288,000 jelly beans

Can you imagine working on a project like this for 22 months straight? Without a green screen? The “making of” video is really worth seeing if you want to know how they did it.

Now I need to find out what else Kina can do – what a cute little song!


Edited to add: This cover of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman gave me goosebumps.

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