Italy 2016 – Discovering Rome

March 8, 2017
Italy Trip - Rome

I’m finally getting around to writing about our Europe trip back in September last year. I had intended to at least start on these before 2017 began but by the time I’d recovered from the holiday we were into the busy end of the year (hello Christmas) and I just decided these posts would have to wait.

This was the longest holiday we’d ever taken, spanning a whole month across two countries with seven different destinations in total. This also made it the most anxiety inducing trip we’ve ever put together. Here we were about to travel across the world to places we’d never visited before, having limited to no knowledge of the local language, with no guides apart from ourselves to get us from one place to another. Months were spent researching and planning everything we’d need to know for this adventure so it would go as smoothly as possible (and give me some peace of mind). Thankfully, almost everything come together and we survived :P.

Our trip began flying into Rome, noting the ‘odd’ stone pine trees lining the streets and the sandy painted buildings from above. Getting out of the airport was an interesting peek into Italian cultural quirks, including seeing people walking their dogs in the airport (more on this later). After some confusion around train tickets, we finally traveled into the city and wandered the old streets to our hotel not far away where we could finally get some rest.

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Handmade gold leaf Christmas cards

January 12, 2017
Handmade gold leaf Christmas cards

Continuing the theme from last year of avoiding overly complicated cards, I wanted to find something that wouldn’t be too stressful to create. I’d always had an interest in using gold leaf but was unsure how difficult it would be to incorporate. After doing some digging and watching some videos, I discovered that the process was rather simple and the materials fairly inexpensive. From that moment, I decided to create a completely gold leaf card with a simple brushstroke design.

The only materials you need to get started working with gold leaf is some brushes, gold leaf sheets and a special adhesive, all of which you should be able to pick up any good art supply store. For the gold leaf sheets, you don’t need to buy the expensive ‘proper’ version, gold imitation leaf works fine.

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Supanova Brisbane 2016

November 17, 2016
Supanova Brisbane 2016

It’s been interesting to see how Supanova Brisbane has changed and evolved over the years that I’ve attended. There are anime and game trends that come and go, the various venues (air con!) and the inclusion of new technologies, like VR.

That said, there has always been certain constant aspects of Supanova like the creative cosplay, the numerous figurine and comic booths, the talented artists and the special guests that are central to the convention’s pop culture composition.

Below are a few photos taken on the last day while we searched for sweet anime goods :).

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PAX Aus – Melbourne 2016

November 9, 2016
PAX Aus 2016

Another year, another PAX Aus! We were once again in Melbourne to attend the gaming convention and excited to see what would be on show this year, especially out of the PAX Rising indie showcase.

VR has definitely come into its own this year with multiple booths embracing the array of VR platforms for their development and the convention has even introduced its own VR Freeplay area for visitors to trial the technology. This is a stark difference from the last 2 years where we’ve only seen small glimmers of it at select booths (which usually need an appointment to try out).

We also saw the inclusion of lots of large upcoming titles including The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XV, South Park: The Fractured but Whole and Watch Dogs 2 along with the return of some familiar games like Swordy, Goat Punks and Inflatality. All of this along with many new indie titles, tournaments, game hardware, table top games, industry talks and more.

Here are some of the many photos I took on the Friday of the convention (I’ve included links to the games’ sites where possible, see caption notes).

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A year with Lucy

May 17, 2016

Today marks the one year anniversary of picking up our little fluff ball known as Lucy. On this day last year we drove over an hour out of town to pick her up from the breeder and she sat on my lap in a laundry basket on the way home. It was a truly exciting day for us and especially for me as Lucy is the first dog I’d ever owned.

Coming home from work has never been the same with an overjoyed puppy greeting you at the door before bringing a toy over to play. Having her come over and lay as close as possible to you on the sofa on a cool night is equally heartwarming. While there have of course been challenges over the past year (including but not limited to toilet training, teething, an ear and eye infection, a bout of fleas, a scary attack in a dog park, a couple of hair matts, all along with her general timid nature around strangers), she is so much a part of our lives now that I can’t imagine it any other way.

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Easy handmade Christmas cards and gift tags – Christmas stockings!

January 13, 2016
Christmas cards - christmas stocking design

I can’t believe it’s already 2016, the last few months just seemed to fly by. I hope all of your end of year celebrations were fun and joyous ^_^.

Keeping up with tradition of the past few years I once again made all of my Christmas cards, this time creating Christmas stockings using just paper and gift wrapping. Below is a step by step guide on how I made them along with their gift tag counterparts.

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Supanova Brisbane 2015

December 2, 2015
Supanova Brisbane 2015

We finished off the last weekend in November once again with Supanova Brisbane – three days filled with cosplay, art, gaming, comics, anime and overall creativity. I was able to attend on the final Sunday, spending most of it wandering around the stalls and looking for elusive figures to add to my collection all while running into friends along the way.

I once again took my camera along to catalogue some of the many sights from the day. I wish I had taken some more photos of the many awesome cosplayers!

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Japan Trip 2015: Day 10 – 13

November 26, 2015
Japan Trip 2015 - Tokyo National Museum

See Day 1 – 3    |    See Day 4 – 6    |    See Day 7 – 9

The final days of our trip would be spent exploring just some of the many small niche museums scattered throughout the greater Tokyo region. Most are hidden gems within more suburban areas and usually require a bit of public transport know-how and a willingness to walk a fair distance but in my experience have always been worth it.

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PAX Aus – Melbourne 2015

November 6, 2015
Pax Aus 2015

I’m pretty sure it was the day after Pax Aus 2014 we decided we definitely wanted to come back and experience the convention all over again. We quickly snapped up tickets after they went on sale and impatiently waited until October to set off to Melbourne and get our hands on the latest new games and developments.

PAX Aus 2015 was once again jammed packed with many new titles from both big names and small developers. After a full pass of the entire expo hall, we found ourselves hovering through the many indie games featured in the PAX Rising section with our favourites including the wacky Inflatality, the swinging bonanza Swordy and the mountain climbing multiplayer Goat Punks. There were of course so many other awesome games and exhibitors as well but we’d be here all day talking about them :P.

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Photography Basics Workshop

October 22, 2015
Photography workshop Brisbane

Last Saturday I attended Workshop‘s Photography Basics class, led by the wonderful Camille Santiago. Though I’ve been fumbling around with photography for years, it was nice to go back and refresh my knowledge on the core settings and to have some parts more clearly explained. It was also so lovely to properly meet and chat with Camille, who I have been admiring for years since I started following her blog.

After running through all the theory behind the workings of a camera, we set off to the Cultural Centre and later Southbank to put what we had learned into practice. I forced myself to mostly use my 50mm prime lens which I’ll admit to neglecting lately. I have a whole new appreciation for using the aperture mode on my camera now than ever before and for the first time I actually properly shot in full Manual, something which I’ve always been apprehensive and not confident about using. Definitely need to keep practicing though.

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