Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eagle chest piece, part 2.

Finished...this will photograph better in a couple of days.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tiny portrait in a coffee cup.

Today on honour of his grandma.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eagle chest piece, part 1

On Ross....with a good catch-up thrown in too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sneak Peek of J. Valentine shoot...

Last week Forgotten Saints and Preachers and Fools Tattoo Studio was the setting for a photo shoot for the next J. Valentine catalogue, and yours truly was called in for bit of the old modeling duties. Well, the lovely and beautiful Sarah was the model, I was just acting the tattooist...the markedly older and more weathered tattooist....dressed as a skunk!! It was a heap of fun posing for this shot, and J. Valentine's new range of animal themed hoods are really snuggly to wear - I even had furry skunk "gauntlets" over my latex gloves - very cute. 

But never fear - it's all faux fur. Sweet!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's on again: Season 2011 from far, far away.

Today the 2011 AFL season starts in Australia, and for the first time in my life, I will not be there to watch. It's going to be very different, not immersing myself in hours of footy talk and analysis with my Melbourne friends and clients. Well, life's a lesson isn't it, and I will take it upon myself to learn to participate in new ways - maybe watching in a sports bar here and there (hmmm, we'll see), seeking out some comrades with a satellite dish in LA, and no doubt a fair bit of internet usage.

Last night, my friend watched the Lakers win their triple-overtime match by a very tight 2 points from very cushy floor seats. She was telling me today about the electric atmosphere and the jubilation felt amongst the fans, and how LA fans, strangers, "high-fived" each other and hugged. I relayed similar stories of close footy matches, and the addiction of the shared passion these wins bring amongst a club's supporters. Of course I spoke about that goal in week one of the 2007 finals - Buddy's boomer in the last moments to put Hawthorn up by 3 points against Adelaide. I still personally feel that win was, as a supporter, better than the 2008 grand final win (well, good friends will know why that is.) I was lucky enough to be sitting in that pocket where he marked and goaled, and remember being so nervous I felt like I was going to vomit!!! When that ball sailed through the big sticks.....the Hawthorn crowd.....I get goosebumps thinking about it still, and a tightening of my throat and a little water in my eye.

Still, 2008 was fabulous too....although half of that "army" is gone now. Memories....round 22 against Carlton, especially the 100th goal....lining up for finals tickets at that newsagency in Mackie Rd....watching them absolutely smash everyone in the finals....a sunny, gorgeous grand final day, the smell of sausages on the portable bbqs in the MCG carpark (and Pam stealing one after the game)....the weird signs I was getting that things were going to go our way....including the lady bug that landed in Johno's guernsey before the game.....the words on the banner, and how unified Hawthorn looked during the national anthem, unlike Geelong who looked like they couldn't care less....Mooney's point- blank miss 5 metres out on half time ("we've got them rattled!").....getting all of those texts from friends - "DEWEEEEEY!".....Crawford's ecstatic jubilation....singing the song at Fed Square, over and over, with our new "family".....and the tears of pride when I got to watch the replay days later.

As we know, the last couple of seasons haven't been what us Hawks have been hoping for. It's nice to pull out a photo of that grand final banner with the "Endurance, Mateship, Courage, Sacrifice". Let's have a bit more of that again this year, and I'll be pleased....and a little less wonk in Roughhead's kicking!

To everyone, Hawk supporter or not, have a good season 2011, play safe, and let's all smash Gold Coast. And please, avoid 17-year-old girls if you know what's good for you.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor: Eternal Glamazon

Surely one of the most beautiful women that ever lived, but also, thankfully, so generous. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Equinox 2011: awakening, Welsh rarebit, and a soggy LA marathon.

I had grand plans for the 20th of March....Ostara!!

I was going to get up at 3am and walk up to Sunset Blvd and watch the Wolfpack Hustle's Crash Race, to witness and photograph a big bunch of cyclists ride the closed streets of the LA Marathon course (Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica). Then I was going to go off to my local farmer's market on Melrose Place to herald in spring by perusing the fresh produce, flowers and bread, before joining the hoards of locals cheering the marathon runners later in the morning - and maybe watch a band or two at the street parties, and basically get involved in the celebration.

But I woke Sunday morning to the sound of a downpour - that went on for hours. Nearly 2 inches of rain fell in the city, unfortunately keeping me and so many spectators away. The runners persisted - the men's winner (Markos Geniti of Ethiopia) broke the race record. Some were checked for hypothermia while the hunky fire department handed out blankets for those who had finished. Brrrrrrr!

Photos courtesy of Robert Gauthier/La Times
So, instead of being out and about, the day was spent watching a few "Jamie at Home" episodes, pottering about while listening to the rain, and whipping up a couple of serves of Welsh rarebit. This dish is starring on a couple of cafe menus in my home town of Melbourne, a la the continuing fashion for "comfort food" and it's a bit of a favourite of mine. I have a teensy bit of a Welsh background by default (from my dear Poppa), and love making Welsh cakes on St David's Day. But a wet, freezing day requires endless hot tea or coffee, a good doona, and grilled cheese on toast. And this is the best sort of grilled cheese on toast.

My Welsh Rabbit/Rarebit - Caws Wedi Pobi

4 slices of toast (use a good wholewheat bread)
150g good quality British cheddar, grated
1 tsp butter
1 spring onion, finely chopped (about 2 tsp worth)
2 tsp flour
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
dash of milk
pepper to taste
pinch of chopped parsley

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan, and melt over low heat. Add the spring onions and cook, stirring for a minute or so. When onions look cooked, stir in the flour to create a roux, and cook for a minute more. Take saucepan off the heat.
  2. Add the mustard, sauce, and cheese to the onion mix, and stir thoroughly. The heat from the pan will start to melt the cheese in with the other ingredients, creating a paste. Add a dash of milk to smooth out the consistency and make it more spreadable. Season with pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the cheese mix onto your slices of toast, covering toast well. Place under a medium grill, and cook until cheese is golden brown.
  4. Plate up, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Tuck in!!!
The other thing to do when the weather is rotten is head to the movies. Last night we got to see "Jane Eyre" for a bit of Victorian romance with a twist of the Gothic. A brand new cinematic adaptation (let's face it, a lot of people will know the plot), it features another Australian in a lead role - Ms Mia Wasikowska. And a solid performance she does too of portraying the heroine of the title. Sets are beautiful but adequately reflective of the solitude of Jane's posting at Thornfield Hall, and Dame Judy Dench as the housekeeper is a brilliant casting coup. And hasn't "Billy Elliot" actor Jamie Bell grown up? There were a good couple of spooky bits in it too - I know I jumped! - and so it's the perfect flick to escape the cold with.

So, we trundle off into spring and longer days ahead, and I will soon experience my first Californian summer. The signs are already here - daylight saving has arrived, the birds are going crazy, especially the hummingbirds (so TINY and impressive), and there is the smell of jasmine all over the city.  Soon it will be all about the salad, and the roast vegies will be given a bit of a rest. Just one more week of rain to go, I more good cleanse for the City of Angels.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"We're all in this together, now": Motorhead, March 11th 2011

I love Motorhead. Ever since I saw the "Killed by Death" clip one late night in the 1980's - "If you squeeze my lizard, I'll put my snake on you", best opening line ever - and their charismatic rendition of "Ace of Spades" on The Young Ones, I've had a bit of a soft spot. There was something about their look....and those brutal bass riffs.

It's 2011, and I'm heading to Club Nokia in downtown LA to see them for the third time (twice before in Australia - so annoyed I didn't go to that show at the Forum in Melbourne in 2007). Tonight, instead of some grungy fire-trap of a venue (hello Festival Hall), I'm walking into the uber clean and corporate Club Nokia, where my handbag is COMPLETELY searched and I have to walk through a metal detector - are you serious? Yes, going to a metal show now is like trying to get on an airplane. And you cannot leave the venue once you enter, so there goes any chance of getting a snack....

Oh well, luckily I actually enjoy watching Clutch!! After working at Tattoo Magic for several years, I grew to HATE THIS BAND, coz it's pretty much what I heard every day (love ya Geordie, wink!) But Friday night saw me really grooving to their bluesy rock that on occasions flirts with the funk. Woohoo! And Jean-Paul Gaster is one tasty jazzy drummer - so enjoyable.

But it's still Motorhead's show, and let's face it, most of the love in the room is for one guy - Lemmy. And his two band mates....but yeah, it's Lemmy. 

It's a tour to promote their new record, "The World Is Yours", but there are plenty of older tracks sprinkled into the set list to keep young and old fans well pleased. My personal highlights are "Stay Clean", "Metropolis", "Over the Top" (blistering), "I Got Mine",  "The Chase Is Better Than The Catch", "In The Name of Tragedy",  "Just 'Cos You Got The Power", "Going to Brazil", "Killed by Death" (with guest appearances from Cherie Currie and Lemmy's son Paul Inder), "Ace of Spades" and then for encore "Overkill". I haven't heard the new record yet, but the new songs fit into the set perfectly, especially "Get Back in Line". As usual, they are LOUD, and the sound is often muddy where I am sitting, but I don't care - it's kinda what I expect. I don't want Motorhead to sound over clean, I want them to sound dirty. And I don't want Lemmy and Phil's banter to ever change - it's so "no fuss" and British.

I did take some photos on my phone, but they were appallingly poor quality. So had to pinch some off others:
Clutch in cool-mode

You can talk about how old these guys are, but it's still like being hit in the face with a piece of concrete when you see Motorhead live. And they deserve every bloody accolade they get, including that huge pit full of fresh faced young fans that I saw on Friday night. Bless!


After the last few days of awful news and continuous comment, there isn't much more one can say about the tragic situation in Japan. But I wanted share this article published on the LA Times website:

I was lucky to visit Tokyo in 2000, only briefly, for the tattoo convention that Permanent Mark used to put on. What an amazing city!! It really did feel like another planet, where everyone is so polite, even-tempered, and hospitable. And where everything seemed so organised. The food was incredible, even for a vegetarian, and the few days I had there with my fellow tattooists was a blast. I regret not ever going back in the last 10 or so years to see more of Tokyo and the rest of the country, but I have always enjoyed the stories of friends who travel there regularly - tales of meeting new Japanese friends and drunkenly singing rock songs into the wee hours of the morning, the shopping and the sight seeing, and the passion with which the Japanese do everything so well.

This photo (from may have already been posted a million times over the last 24 hours, but it is just so moving.

I don't think anyone should underestimate the love and bond a lot of us have with our pets. For some people, that relationship is the most important thing in the world....
and for some it keeps them from giving up.

We implore the Japanese people not to give up.

For those who want to help animals stranded or injured by the disaster in Japan, Susan Wyatt has put together a list of links through which people can contribute. Please read!

That's no jacket!!

Spotted (pardon the pun) on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood.....introducing "Chico", and his 2 hour dye a four legged stained-glass window, or a chihuahua shaped Easter egg.

You look so lovely, sir!!

Excuse the poses, he kept turning his head just as I was taking each shot!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Maybe the kids are all right - here's some proof.

I don't know...some days you wonder what the world will be like when today's pre-teens, tweenies and teens (or WHATEVER social observers call them) grow into adults. But then again I'm sure they wondered about me and my friends when we were kids...and we turned out BRILLIANT! I digress....
      I've seen 2 shining examples of hope in the last day. Firstly, my 11-year-old nephew has got together with some of his mates and decided to shave their heads for the Leukemia Foundation. I think we all know it as the "World's Greatest Shave", but the event's main aim is to raise money for research into treatments for leukemia. Go the website, it's not too late to donate to someone's team or make some sort of contribution - the shaving begins tomorrow!!!
Well done Luca, I'm very proud of you!
I came across a sweet story on the Weho Daily today...about a $70 cheque sent to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center as a donation - by a 7 year-old-boy! He enclosed a note with the cheque:

His mum also wrote a note, explaining to the center why her son was moved to donate:
“To teach the importance of improving the world around him, Malcolm was given $140 to give away to the charity of his choice. After hearing a story on the radio about the mistreatment of gays and lesbians, Malcolm became both upset and curious about the issue…to help, he chose to split his money between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.”

The center, which provides free and low-cost health services, advocacy and outreach programs for the Los Angeles LGBT community, is now sharing Malcolm's story to try and inspire others to help - if a 7-year-old can speak out, surely us bigger people can too! This is an amazing organisation - please click here to read about the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, especially about what they offer to homeless youth who've been turned away by their families. And to read more about the flow on effect of Malcolm's donation, click here.

Bravo, Malcolm and your mum!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Conversation with a view.

Last night we got to watch the sun go down and the LA lights come up from a friend's balcony up in the Hollywood Hills. Here, the wild never seems far away, as the hummingbirds swoop and hover looking for nectar, and the the houses hang precariously from the sides of the hills. And below, the city rambles and rumbles to seeming eternity.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Marilyn Manson part 2....

Hands, hat and clothing took another 5 1/2 hours after the first session when the face and hair was completed. I took this shot in my phone, so when Vanessa is healed I'll get a better photo - although there will probably be more to add in the background. Can't go past a good couple of devils....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Dropkick Murphys record out! Get it or else.

I love this video. And I can't wait to hear this song live - it'll be a sing-along!
Click here for the Murphys website.

LACMA's "Urban Light"

One very cold and wet winter night after leaving the Fashion exhibition, I took this shot of the Chris Burden installation that sits on Wilshire Blvd. This piece is made up of 202 old LA street lights that Burden sourced at flea markets and other places, and then restored himself. Made up of varieties of differing shapes - both in the ironwork and the glass lanterns - they are lit by solar power, come on at dusk, and create an almost Greek temple of light for those passing.

Why have I posted this photo? Well, the old Urban Light is becoming a bit of an LA icon. You know, one of those places any "point and shoot" novice like myself can take a good happy snap, or a newly married couple can have a quirky wedding day shot taken at, or it be a cool backdrop for an editorial shoot. But it also appears in the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher film "No Strings Attached"...not that I've seen the film, but I've seen the shorts.

But I did see Portman's other film from 2010....yes, that little film she one that gold statue on the weekend for...what's it called again? Oh, yes - "Black Swan". Nice posters...

This was one of the most raucous and yet ravishingly stunning cinema experiences I've had in a long time - PHEW, WHAT A RIDE!!!!! Hats off to Ms Portman for what she put her body through to play this role  - an Oscar well deserved for the physical and emotional achievement.


Phil's "Minus The Bear" tattoo.

....but with "angry" eyebrows.