Farewell Dancing Man

Just in case this blog wasn't quite random enough already, I wanted to post a little tribute to the Dancing Man. Many Australians will know the above image, and indeed the footage, from the celebrations that followed the end of World War II. The streets of Sydney were shrouded in ticker-tape (now also referred to as LITTER!), but most memorable of all was the dapper young lad hopping, skipping and twirling his way down George Street.

There's still a little contention surrounding the true identity of the Dancing Man, but it's commonly believed to be Frank McAlary, then a 20-year-old student who went on to become a distinguised barrister. Even in the face of the tragedy of war, one young man serves as a timely reminder that we must celebrate and cherish the freedoms we so often take for granted.

Frank passed away on the 17th of January, 2010, but his image, his spirit and his joy lives on.

Dream Schemes - Tilly Sofa by & Then Design

For a few weeks now, I've been pondering just how I'd redecorate my little apartment if I could start from scratch. Truth be told, even if I imagined that my funds were endless, I still have no idea! I LOVE lots of different pieces on their own, but put them all together and it'd just be a big old mess, and not the eclectic "I worked hard for everything to look this mismatched" kind of mess either.

So for now, I'm going to share little bits and pieces that I love as I find them, even if they wouldn't go with my horrid beige carpet (I'm a renter, I have no say!), and even if they wouldn't go with anything else I've shared. Eventually, hopefully, I can find a common theme or two and come up with a few Dream Schemes.

On my radar at the moment is this Tilly sofa by & Then Design. Even with the classical styling and super cute buttons, this is still a super-modern look that works best in a very particular setting. Think polished concrete, painted bricks and lots and lots of white. High ceilings and a handful of exposed beams wouldn't hurt either.

Probably not ideal with the endless shades of cream, beige and brown that my current rental status subjects me too, but where there's a will, there's a way.

What would you do with your abode if you could start over?

With a Smile

Back to the daily grind, and my own view is that the only thing better than a delicious coffee is one served with a smile. Clearly fellow Sydney-sider Sonya Gee agrees.

In a cute collaboration with a local Sydney cafe, Sonya is sending these little guys out into the world to spread joy and caffeine.

With six irresistible handmade designs to collect, you’ll need to head straight to Cafe Giulia in Chippendale before they all find new homes!

You can find out more about Sonya here, or stalk her on Twitter like I do!

(P.S. Obsession with smiley coffee? Don’t know what you’re talking about!)

A Little Help

I've been trying to edit this post on and off for the last two three days, but as I was finally wandering back to my computer to finish it off once and for all, the news broke that Haiti had been hit by yet another earthquake (is 6.0 really an aftershock?!) There really is no better time than now to help a truly devastated nation. Even in the face of catastrophe, I still believe that every little bit counts. We might be worlds apart from those in need, but we can still make a difference.

I won't try to be eloquent, passionate or poignant. I'll simply ask that if you haven't yet donated, you consider sending a few dollars in Haiti's direction. Etsy is abuzz with lovely craftsters who have donated their time, skills and materials, and more importantly, their proceeds, to the variety of charities that can help Haiti rebuild.

[Haiti Relief Notecards by The Paper Couturière]

Autumn from The Paper Couturière is one of many kind crafty types pitching in, and she'll be donating 100% of the proceeds from her specially designed range of Haiti Relief notecards. If you'd like to help her reach her goal of $500 (which will all be donated to the International Red Cross), you can purchase the notecards from The Paper Couturière site or via Etsy.

Two organisations that are especially close to my heart, and are SO vital for the future of Haiti, are Architecture for Humanity and RedR. It might be stating the obvious, but rebuilding is going to be a long, extensive and crucial process that needs to be safe, efficient, affordable...and as fast as possible too.

One of the first steps in rebuilding (both literally and figuratively) is for structural engineers to assess the few buildings that remain and advise whether they're safe for further occupation. With an estimated 2-3 million people without shelter, it's critical to utilise the existing infrastructure for healthcare and shelter wherever possible.

Organisations like Architecture for Humanity will be working towards constructing temporary (but SAFE!) emergency relief shelters, healthcare facilities etc. for the short term, whilst also looking ahead and planning the best ways to provide buildings that are safe, efficient and affordable. Haiti's climate and natural vulnerabilities alone provide very specific challenges, but with the difficulties borne of such a massive natural disaster (including new demographics, with projections of over 1 million orphans) - it's imperative that the rebuilding process does not speed ahead at the expense of safety, quality or equity of all Haitians.

Both organisations will also play pivotal roles in ensuring that the largely unregulated building industry is monitored, upheld and improved upon, plus providing the knowledge and training to those who assist in the rebuilding process, both volunteers and locals alike. Again, if you have even a little to spare, please consider donating below.

Donate to Architecture for Humanity

Donate to RedR


Adding two more worthy causes into the mix!

Hearts for Haiti Etsy Collective - 100% of proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

Emergency Architects - In a similar vein to Architecture for Humanity, Emergency Architects specialise in disaster relief and ongoing reconstruction. If you've already donated, please remember the people of Haiti in a few months, or even in a year or two, and consider donating to an organisation like EA to ensure the future is safe and secure for all.

Neon Ballroom

Oh to have a double-height space to accommodate this oversized neon chandelier! More pictures and information over at my post on 2Modern - go say hello! (You're also more than welcome to say hello here, of course!)

Manmade - The Art of Architecture

Hello, remember me? I'm the really slack blogger that talks about being all refreshed and reinvigorated, then falls silent for a week or two. 2010 off to a great start already!

So I'm a little slow off the mark, but I am actually (finally) feeling a little inspired, so thank you for sticking with me and stopping by! I'm slowly working my way up from my beloved 140 characters to my inbox and my reader,

Today (and all last week) I've been wanting to share some truly captivating images with you, but I'm obviously not the only one enamoured because the site has since earned itself a 'Bandwidth Exceeded' page - a true sign of success!

So instead I'm going to share the video with you, which I urge you to watch all the way through, and in full screen HD if possible too! It features stunning buildings (many of which you might be familiar with if you're an archi-geek like me), gorgeous cinematography, and some amazing CGI.


Did you watch it yet?

How about now?

Seriously, if you haven't watched it and you're still reading, scroll back up and hit play.

Ok, you can come back now.

Watched it?

Remember when I said amazing CGI?

The whole film is computer generated.

Not just the droplets, not just the exploding books (how amazing is that library, by the way?! It's Tadao Ando's Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum - swoon!)

Every single last frame.

Yes. Consider me inspired.

EDIT: If you didn't watch the film, here are some stills to entice you to do so. Seriously, watch it!

Resting Resolutions

Well I don't know about you, but this holiday season has left me far from rested and relaxed! As lovely as it is to catch up with friends and family, sometimes you just need to let yourself sleep in, veg out, and take a day (or weekend!) to yourself, so that's exactly what I'm doing this weekend.

So here's to being refreshed and reinvigorated on Monday for another week...and another year!

[Castle and Things Bed Linen via A Cup of Jo]

Hello Twenty Ten!

So glad to see you! Please make yourself comfortable, grab a drink and stay a while.

Happy Twenty Ten dear readers! I'm leaving behind a lacklustre an atrocious year and moving onwards and upwards. I have a great feeling about the year ahead!

What do you have planned for 2010? Have you made any resolutions (and/or broken any?!)